When it comes to Heat Stress, I want you to think prevention, rather than fixing something that’s wrong.
A heat stress prevention station is in a well-ventilated area and out of direct sunlight… this could be an air-conditioned trailer, or a portable worksite shelter…
- Per OSHA it must block direct sunlight
- As close as possible to where work is occurring
- Provide adequate space for all resting employees.
- If your site lacks built-in refuge from the sun, there are plenty of quick and easy-to-deploy options available.
OK, now that we covered your prevention and recovery station space, let’s go over what goes inside it, starting with hydration…
One of the most critical components to a heat stress program is that of proper hydration. Heat-related illnesses are closely associated with a worker’s hydration level. OSHA recommends 8oz every 20 minutes. The most important consideration is accessibility.
- Reusable Water Bottles, ultimately cheaper than pallets of plastic bottles are portable and often offer insulted options that keep water cool on the go.
- Hydration packs are portable wherever you go and allow for a higher capacity option for those away from a rest area for more than a few hours. Often insulated and with pockets these packs keep water cool and also allow for storage.
- Having coolers available is also a smart idea not just for hydration, but for use as stool and to activate cooling PPE like evaporative cooling towels and vests which are key to helping cool down body temps and stay ahead of heat related illness…
And lastly, I want to make sure to mention an often overlooked hazard related to heat stress and outdoor work. The likelihood of developing skin cancer for those who work outdoors is 3.5 times higher than for those who do not and OSHA has identified UV rays as a carcinogen.
One of the measures OSHA recommends to prevent that damage is a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30––the higher the SPF value the better the protection. Also don’t forget broad spectrum protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Because there is a need to reapply, providing workers with smaller containers that they can refill in your prevention station is smart, like our super portable 1.5-oz option that can be refilled from our larger 32-oz pump option.