This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about summer safety.
Summer is just around the corner!
Summer is just around the corner, and we will soon have to cope with weather-related hazards such as heat and direct sun exposure. We all should be aware of the potential hazards that are a part of working and playing in an outdoor environment in the summer.
The combination of heat and humidity is a serious health threat during the summer months and a reason for many clinic visits. It’s especially important to make sure we are all aware of the risks of heat-related illness. Remind workers to:
- Drink plenty of water before getting thirsty.
- Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton.
- Take frequent short breaks in cool shade.
- Eat smaller meals before heavy activity.
- Avoid caffeine or large amounts of sugar.
- Check medications to ensure heat won’t create adverse side effects.
- Understand and remember that clothing, if too heavy, can increase heat stress.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts and skin cancer. No matter what the media tells you, there are no safe UV rays or safe suntans. We need to be especially careful in the sun if we burn easily or spend a lot of time outdoors:
- Cover up. Wear tightly woven clothing you can’t see through.
- Use sunscreen. A sun protector factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays.
- Wear a hat. A wide brim hat, not a baseball cap, works best because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
- Wear UV-absorbent shades. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should be able to block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
- Limit exposure. UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.