Safety Tip Thursday

Provided by ESD 123 Loss Control Specialist

Preventing Heat Stress

Hot summer months pose special hazards for those who work and play outdoors. We all should learn to recognize and protect ourselves from hazards such as heat, sun exposure, and insects, whether we are at work or at play.

Heat stress is preventable with a few simple precautions

  • Drink plenty of water, even when not thirsty

  • Try to do the heaviest work during the cooler parts of the day

  • Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness

  • Wear light, loose-fitting, light colored clothing such as cotton, and wear a hat

  • Take regular breaks from the sun

  • Wear UV sunglasses

  • Avoid caffeine when possible since it dehydrates the body

  • Use sunscreen (SPF) of at least 15

  • Ask your health care provider if any medication you may be taking could affect your health while in the sun

Insect bites and stings

Each year, many people encounter wasps/bees, spiders, ants or other insects while outdoors. Prevention strategies to avoid being stung by an insect include:

  • Avoid areas where insects nest. Spiders are typically found in dark and damp areas such as bushes or underneath a stationary object. Wasps and bees can typically be found higher in areas such as a roof or tree

  • Make sure to keep as much skin covered with clothing as possible, including a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, and a hat

  • Wear light-colored clothing

  • Avoid using any scented soaps or other products, since the fragrances can also attract insects

  • Apply insect repellents to clothing instead of skin so that it won’t be absorbed

When heat is combined with physical activity, loss of fluids, fatigue, and high humidity, our body’s cooling system has to work very hard and may begin to fail, leading to a serious health threat from heat-related illness. There are several heat disorders including sunburn, heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Be safe and stay hydrated!

Educational Service District 123

Workers’ Compensation

3918 West Court Street * Pasco WA 99301

509-544-5720 *