Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an important toolkit contractors can use to help beat the heat. The toolkit provides downloadable and customizable materials for those most vulnerable to extreme heat events.
People who work outdoors are more likely to become dehydrated and are more likely to get heat-related illness. The CDC offers the following tips for contractors working outside in the hot temperatures:
- Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
- Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
- Ask if tasks can be scheduled for earlier or later in the day to avoid midday heat.
- Wear a brimmed hat and loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Spend time in air-conditioned buildings during breaks and after work.
- Encourage co-workers to take breaks to cool off and drink water.
- Seek medical care immediately if you or a co-worker has symptoms of heat-related illness.