Heat safety tips for outside workers

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Summer is officially here and these triple digit temperatures are having an effect on our workforce.

This heat wave has companies focused on keeping their outside workers safe.

“There is no avoiding heat in our industry. There’s literally no avoiding heat, there’s adapting to it and knowing what you can take,” said Marcus Mitchum, owner of Mitchum Lawn.

With record high temperatures across the Fountain City and surrounding areas, experts say it’s more important now than ever to stay hydrated. Some people like Mitchum, who owns a lawn care service based in Phenix City, finds himself and his employees doing more to stay safe in the sun.

“We did an in service last week on proper hydration, on taking breaks when breaks need to be taken because sometimes it’ll get ahead of you,” said Mitchum.

Mitchum says he also encourages employees to cover up as much of their skin and consider wearing hats with capes.

Other outside business like car shops don’t have to do nearly as much.

“Thankfully, we have shade -- we are under cover. We don’t have to work out in the sun,” said Mike Pair, owner of Exhaust Pro.

But, some say they’re still being precautious.

“I’ve always been one person that would just say kind of ‘tough it out. It is summertime. It’s supposed to be hot.’ Now it’s, you know, even hotter than hot,” said Pair.

I also talked to a local pediatrician about some basic heat safety tips for outside workers and children.

“Wear light, loose clothing that is more comfortable for the summer and allows the air to circulate,” said Dr. Chandra.

Dr. Ritu Chandra also emphasized the importance of drinking water even when you’re not thirsty and wearing sunscreen.

“Ideally, we want to wear sunscreen about 15 minutes before being exposed to the sun. And it’s important to reapply about every two hours,” said Dr. Chandra.

She also went into detail about early signs of dehydration like fatigue and dizziness.

“Or just feeling lightheaded, or increase in heart rate, your skin feeling warm and then later the symptoms can be muscle cramps or skin becoming tented. That means you pick it up and it just stays up like a tent,” said Dr. Chandra.

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