As we continue into the heat of the summer months, AADA wants to share some tips and best practices to help you and your employees stay cool and healthy:
- Provide plenty of water and sports drinks to employees. Liquids are needed for adequate hydration and replenishment of key minerals and electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Remind employees that they need to drink up to one quart of water per hour to stay properly hydrated in extreme heat.
- Remind employees to avoid alcohol the night before and caffeinated drinks if they must work outside or in hot dealership work areas. Both alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and can make heat illnesses worse. Starting your day dehydrated when working in extreme heat can put you in a very dangerous situation.
- Encourage employees working in hot dealership areas to not wear tight fitting clothing. Consider temporarily altering your dress code for employees who are at risk of heat-related illness.
- Allow plenty of breaks.
- Make sure employees as well as managers and supervisors are trained and familiar with how to recognize symptoms of heat illnesses. Heat stress and heat stroke both need to be recognized quickly and treatment provided.
- Remind employees to be extra forgiving and give lots of grace. Tempers can flare easily given hot weather.
- Remind employees that personal protective equipment needs to be used regardless of the temperature in the shop. For instance, eye protection still needs to be worn regardless of how sweaty someone is.
- Check your fans that employees use also to make sure that they are safe to use. Cords need to be in good condition, grounded with no damage, splices or taped areas. Also make sure that the guards are complete and in place.
Heat related illness prevention is part of OSHA’s 2023 National Emphasis Program. They have compiled some great resources and tools for employers such as posters; articles on recognizing and preventing heat related illnesses; infographics, and much more. Access OSHA’s Heat Campaign here: www.osha.gov/heat