|Workers will need to be careful about heat illness this week.|
- Acclimate to heat slowly over 5 to 7 days. For new workers, increase the amount of time in the heat by 20% per day. If you’re already used to hot conditions, you can increase your exposure more quickly, but if you’re away from the heat for 4 days or more, you’ll need to build up your tolerance again.
- Drink lots of water before, during and after work. OSHA recommends 4 cups of water per hour. Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and avoid sweetened or caffeinated beverages.
- Adjust the timing of certain activities, if possible. Cut back exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid confined spaces during the hottest hours. Consider putting hay in the barn the morning after it’s been baled, or later in the evening when temperatures cool off.
- Take breaks in the shade or a cool environment. Taking 5-minute breathers as needed not only cuts down on heat stress, but also makes everyone more productive. Use machinery with cabs or shades, but don’t skip breaks – farm equipment generates a lot of heat, too. Set up simple tents in fields and other unsheltered areas to create needed shade.