ATHENS eBULLETIN | August 27, 2019

We’ve seen record setting temperatures this summer and the 100+ degree days are continuing throughout the country. Athens has teamed up with a world-class partner offering clients a complete Loss Control Service program, uniquely suited to addressing the specific challenges for health and safety for employers. Together, we’ve compiled 8 Tips to help you and your employees deal with this heat.

Stay Informed- You can’t take the proper steps to handle a heat wave if you aren’t aware of the advisories and warnings. There are many ways to keep informed: Monitor your local television and radio stations; tune into National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio; check the weather online, or download the free Heat Safety Tool from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for your Android or iPhone mobile device.

Never leave anyone in the car- Children, pets, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to heat exposure, but even healthy adults can quickly succumb to heat exhaustion or stroke in a parked car. Temperatures inside a car rise rapidly, even if the windows are left open—and the results can be tragic.

Hydrate- Keep yourself properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water or nonalcoholic beverages. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep drinking water. Avoid alcohol, which is dehydrating, as well as caffeinated drinks and sodas, which can be less hydrating than water.

Buddy system- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Minimize time outside and avoid direct exposure to the sun if you are not used to it. If you must work outside, schedule your outdoor activities for the cooler early morning or evening hours. Avoid being outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which is typically the hottest part of the day.

Dress Down- Wear cool, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothing and a hat with a wide brim. Also, choose light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight and keep you cooler. A parasol or umbrella is a “cool” accessory to help keep the sun away. Make sure to apply sunscreen frequently to avoid sunburn.

Eat Light- Salads, fruit, and cold soups are good options for dining during a heat wave because they are easy to digest and make you feel cooler than you would after eating a hot, heavy meal. If you are packing food for a picnic, make sure to put it in a cooler filled with ice or ice packs; food spoils very quickly in the heat.

Have a Plan- Know the warning signs of heat-related illness and what to do if you or someone you know begins to exhibit them. Heat cramps—painful muscle spasms in the legs or abdomen—and heavy sweating may be the first signs of heat-related illness. Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, fast or weak pulse, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. Symptoms of heat stroke include throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, fainting, a body temperature above 103 degrees, and an altered mental state. For information about dealing with heat exposure, download a free Heat Wave Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross.

Replace your Sunscreen- Although sunscreen has a typical shelf life of 3 years, the older it gets and the more exposure to heat it has the less effective it becomes.

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About Athens Administrators:

Founded in 1976 Athens Administrators is a national third party administrator of Workers’ Compensation and Property and Casualty claims as well as Managed Care services. We proudly provide service to private and public sector, self-insured clients as well as to insurance carriers and managing general agencies.