Hydrating Workers Important During Warm Weather Months

June 15, 2000
Tips for employers on how to control heat stress and keep workers\r\ncomfortable, productive, alert and safe.

With the onset of high temperatures and high humidity, it is important for employers to control heat stress and keep workers comfortable, productive, alert and safe.

In hot conditions, workers can lose up to 1.5 liters of water each hour in the form of sweat.

Hydration through the ingestion of fluid is one way to prevent your employees from suffering from heat exhaustion this summer.

Hydration experts from NIOSH and OSHA recommend drinking every 15 to 20 minutes -- not just during rest breaks -- to stay sufficiently hydrated and maintain a safe core body temperature.

This puts less strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to fewer heat-related illnesses and injuries.

CamelBak Products, Petaluma, Calif., a manufacturer of hands-free hydration systems, offers the following tips for keeping workers hydrated and healthy.

  • Drink before, during and after physical labor to replace body fluid lost in sweating.
  • Anticipate conditions that will increase the need for water, including high temperature, humidity, protective clothing and difficulty of work.
  • Keep individual containers of cool, clean water within easy reach at all times.
  • Drink cool water, which is absorbed more quickly by the body, and easier to drink than warm or very cold fluids.
  • Try carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks to help avoid heat cramps that can occur up to several hours after working.
  • Avoid coffee, tea or soda, which act as diuretics, further depleting the body of fluid. Never drink alcohol while working.
  • Even sedentary workers should drink eight 8-ounce servings of water each day.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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