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The Effects of Heat and Humidity on Workers

For those working outdoors on power lines or city sewer systems, hot temperatures and high humidity pose health risks. The risks are higher if performing strenuous tasks, being new to working in extreme heat, or if wearing non-breathable protective clothing. Fortunately, heat stress can be prevented by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Wear Sunscreen:
Did you know that sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can also make you dehydrated? Wear sunscreen that’s labeled “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection.”

Drink Fluids:
Regardless of the activity you’re performing, drink more fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

Replace Salt and Minerals:
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. Electrolyte-replacement drinks can replace the salt and minerals.

Be Informed: 
Check your local news for extreme heat alerts.

Take Breaks:
Move to shady areas frequently. 

Know the Signs: 
Heat stroke, heat stress, and heat cramps can develop in hot weather. Be mindful of the signs, and call 911 if necessary.

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