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How to work outdoors in extreme heat

With the hot summer season right around the corner, you may not be looking forward to working outdoors. However, if your job calls for it, it's critical that you prepare accordingly. With the right approach, you can maintain your safety all while completing your job as required.

Here are some tips for working outdoors in extreme heat:

  • Hydrate before you start: Before you get started, consume as much water as possible. This puts you in a good place as you begin your day. And of course, you should continue to hydrate throughout your shift.
  • Take breaks: When necessary, take a break in a cool place, such as indoors or under a tree. Even if it's only for five minutes, it helps your mind and body recover and stay fresh.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration: If your mouth and skin are dry, you feel dizzy and your breathing and heartbeat are picking up, there's a good chance you're moving toward a state of dehydration. You should immediately stop what you're doing, head for cooler temperatures and rehydrate.
  • Wear the right clothes: Choose clothes that allow air to circulate and your skin to breathe. If you're covered in heavy cotton, for example, it'll greatly increase the risk of dehydration.

Even if you take these steps, you could suffer a bout of dehydration or heat exhaustion as a result of your outdoor work.

Rather than take a risk with your health, seek immediate medical attention. If your doctor suggests time away from work to recover, learn more about the steps for filing a workers' compensation claim.

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