Summer Safety Series : Hydration

Summer Safety Series : Hydration

Know the Benefits

Water is essential for keeping our bodies healthy. It regulates body temperature, carries nutrients throughout the body, and cleans out toxins from our system. Drinking water and prioritizing hydration has also proven to increase brain power and energy, promote healthy weight, improve skin health, prevent headaches and muscle cramps, stop bad breath, and even improve heart health.

RELATED POST: Summer Safety Series – Heat Related Illness

Hydration is not only one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle, it is also crucial to keeping our bodies cool. In the hot summer months, it is important to make sure you and your employees are getting enough water to maintain proper fluid balance and body temperature. Employees who are engaged in outdoor or otherwise strenuous work must be especially mindful of drinking enough water so they do not become dehydrated.

Know the Risks and Symptoms

Make sure your employees are aware of the risks of dehydration as well as the symptoms so they can know when to stop and hydrate before it’s too late. Dehydration creates a number of serious risks, most notably heat-related illnesses including heat rash and heat stroke which, if not treated, can sometimes lead to death.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst / Dry Mouth

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle Cramps

  • Nausea, Dizziness, and/or confusion

  • Excessive Sweateing

  • Inability to sweat or cry

  • Hot, dry skin

Stay Hydrated

Doctors recommend that a person at rest drink half their body weight in ounces of water per day. That means that a man weighing 200 lbs should drink 100 oz. of water each day assuming he is at rest. When an individual adds activity into their day, the number of ounces increases. Aim to drink an additional cup of water for every hour of moderate to strenuous activity in your day (if you have underlying health conditions, consult a doctor about recommended daily water intake).

To help stay hydrated and encourage hydration among your employees:

  • Always have water readily available – For employees who work outside or offsite, provide or encourage them to keep a cooler full of water bottles or to have a reusable water bottle on hand.

  • Enforce breaks for all employees so they have time to cool down in the shade and get a drink of water

  • Provide appropriate heat safety personal protective equipment

  • Conduct regular safety training and remind employees of the importance of hydration and staying cool in the hot summer months.

Keep your workplace hydrated by setting a tone for safety. Educate your employees on the risks, symptoms, and preventative measures associated with dehydration, and be sure to keep water accessible for all employees throughout your office, warehouse, distribution center, and in the field.

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