Heat Exhaustion Safety Topic: Working in the Summer Heat

By Williams Logistics, Inc on 7-19-2023

Heat Exhaustion Safety Topic: Working in the Summer Heat

With the highly regulated working hours, many truck drivers work all day through the summer heat. In doing so, they can increase their risk of overworking their body and developing heat exhaustion.  As a way to battle heat exhaustion in truckers, here are 4 tips on how to prevent heat exhaustion at work.

How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion at Work

    • Use Air Ventilation to Keep Your Body Temperature Down: Whether you are using AC, fans, or open windows, air circulation is vital. Working while sitting or moving around will keep your body temperature high in the summer heat even after sundown. Misting yourself with water can also help to transfer heat away from your body.
    • Use Reminders to Regularly Hydrate and Take Breaks: During high summer temperatures, remember to take breaks to cool down and drink plenty of fluids. However, it’s easy to get distracted or absorbed in your work and push too far. So take some time to create reminders to encourage breaks on your phone, computer, or elsewhere that's easy to notice.
    • Wear Appropriate Attire: From using fans to keep cool to taking water breaks, every action matters when it comes to preventing heat exhaustion. This also includes your clothing materials and styles! Try to choose light-colored, loose-fitting, cotton-based clothing instead of clothing with synthetic materials. Always keep a hat, sunglasses, or other shad accessories with you so they are available when you need them.
    • Manage Your Work Schedule Around Cooler Times of the Day: While it’s not always possible, it’s encouraged to prioritize physical work activities in the early morning, late evening, or overnight. By sharing demanding tasks with a co-worker, taking regular breaks, and watching out for one another, everyone can stay safe this summer.

What to Eat After Heat Exhaustion 

During the high temperature of summer, it’s so easy to overheat while working. Furthermore, it can be difficult for some people to hydrate by simply drinking enough water. By eating foods that contain high amounts of water, it can also encourage truckers to take a break. It’s important to note, foods with high water content can’t replace hydrating by drinking water. Rather, it's a way to encourage truck drivers to drink more fluids by stimulating a thirst response. In fact, heat exhaustion can be affected by your body’s water and salt consumption. So both eating a salty snack and drinking water is beneficial to helping your body regulate it’s temperature. 

Besides eating salty snacks, foods with high water content help rehydrate the body. So before heading out on the road, be sure to pack your favorite fruits and vegetables for convenient accessibility. Fruits and vegetables with the highest water content include:

    • Berries
    • Melons 
    • Oranges 
    • Apples
    • Grapefruit
    • Peaches
    • Bananas
    • Grapes 
    • Pineapple 
    • Carrots 
    • Lettuce 
    • Cabbage 
    • Cauliflower
    • Spinach 
    • Cucumbers 
    • Celery 
    • Bell Peppers
    • Zucchini