What employees can do:
- Drink plenty of water regularly throughout the work day to replace lost fluids.
- Perform strenuous work during the coolest times of day; reserve lighter tasks for high heat periods.
- Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics, ensuring that the clothing doesn’t prohibit sweat evaporation.
What employers can do:
- Increase airflow through fans and windows.
- Ensure uniforms are made of breathable, lightweight materials that permit cooling.
- Slowly acclimate workers to the heat, if possible.
- Extend rest periods to give workers adequate time to cool off.
- Provide a cool rest area nearby.
- Teach employees to recognize the signs of heat stress or exhaustion.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2003-08-01.