2022 will likely be one of the hottest years in recorded history. In June, thousands of cattle died from the extreme heatwave. A 67-year-old man ran out of gas and died as he sought road help. The temperature reached 123° that day.
Working outside will be more dangerous this year. Construction safety is always a priority, but this summer, increased vigilance will be needed by project supervisors, workers, and co-workers to spot HRI (heat-related illness) symptoms.
Keeping Your Cool: HRI Prevention
Heat-related illness “warning signs are tricky,” says Construction Business Owner. An outdoor worker might get a cramp or a wave of nausea. Or feel nothing. HRI is easy to discount; “I skipped lunch,” you might say. Or you feel bad because you’re “just having a bad day.”
One myth says if you’re perspiring, your body is doing its job and keeping you cool. Not true; you can overheat and suffer from HRI even if you’re sweating.
- Drink, drink, drink WATER – Your body needs the sugar and salts found in foods. There are packets of hydration additives for bottled water available this year. But spend this summer walking around with a bottle of water; plain, old-fashioned water. Drink more water more often.
- Eat healthy foods – Your Dr. Pepper® breakfast and bag of corn chips for lunch aren’t great on “normal” days and especially bad during a heatwave. Limit sugar, caffeine, and alcohol to keep your body better prepared for working outdoors. Another FYI (for your information): Fruits, veggies, and proteins in adequate amounts will keep you healthier than carbo-loading.
- Understand health risks – Workers with ongoing medical conditions, older employees, over- or under-weight people… Some are more at risk for HRI than others. Learn about HRI and contributors to heat-related illness. Then encourage at-risk employees to learn more. Prevention truly is the best cure.
Technology Can Help
There are construction technologies with heat-monitoring abilities. Encouraging workers to seek physical fitness assessments this summer can reduce HRI risks. You may consider on-the-job education and share tips to prevent HRI:
- Physical fitness
- PPE (personal protective equipment)
- Sweat rate
…and other factors that can impact work-related HRI.
Technology drives our company. Construction Monitor is an information source, and our core mission is to provide industry professionals with data analytics based on building permits and construction starts. To learn how to use our technology, call 435.586.1205 or contact Construction Monitor.