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Given that heat-related illnesses in the U.S. have spiked over the past few years, I wanted to share some helpful safety reminders that you can pass along to your leadership team and workers.

Hydration: Stress the importance of staying hydrated by drinking water regularly, regardless of thirst. Advise against consuming drinks high in sugar or caffeine on hot days, as these have a diuretic effect that can lead to dehydration. Instead, suggest opting for water, coconut water, or electrolyte-replenishing drinks.
Protective Clothing: Remind employees to wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing. Urge them to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, applying it generously on exposed skin 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying every two hours.
Schedule Wisely: Consider scheduling tasks earlier or later in the day to avoid working during the hottest hours. Educate your management team on monitoring the heat index, not just temperature, as humidity plays a crucial role in how hot it actually feels. Use this information to adjust workloads and schedules accordingly.
Cooling Areas: Advise employees to take breaks and seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces during rest periods. Advocate for regular breaks among teams to allow for cooling off and hydration.
Eat Lightly: Recommend consuming smaller, lighter meals that include hydrating fruits. Caution against consuming large amounts of high-protein foods, which can increase metabolic heat and water loss. Encourage choosing salads, smoothies, and other light options that are easier to digest and can help keep the body cool.
By implementing these simple yet effective measures, you can help safeguard the health and well-being of your workforce during the summer months.