• How to Stay Hydrated on the Job Site

    Man with water bottle, avoiding dehydration | workers' compensation injury

    Hydration on the Job

    Some jobs are hot by their very nature and environment, and workers are generally protected and provided for as part of the daily routine. For those who work outdoors, the summer temperatures are a seasonal challenge that they may not be familiar with or as well equipped to handle. Those who are working in construction, landscaping, and other outdoor jobs are often subjected to temperatures of 100 degrees or more, and as a result, they face a significant risk of dehydration. The best way to prevent this is to focus on staying hydrated.

     

    You may not realize it, but when you are working in a high-heat environment, you are constantly losing fluids through millions of sweat glands, and these fluids need to be replenished on a constant basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration both agree that workers who are exposed to temperatures over 103 need to drink four cups of water per hour. Both groups specify water, as drinks that contain caffeine may cause workers to lose fluid more quickly.

     

    Workers should also be kept protected from direct sunlight, as it can increase the impact of the temperature by an additional 15 degrees. Employers make both shade and cooling facilities available on the job site to provide workers the ability to take breaks from the harsh heat environment, and should also provide training to all employees regarding the warning signs of dehydration, which include:

     

    • Excessive fatigue
    • Trouble focusing
    • Sunken eyes
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Dry mouth
    • Extreme thirst
    • Darkly colored urine

     

    This last symptom is one of the easiest ways to gauge how dehydrated you are. When urine is clear, you are considered to be well hydrated, while dark yellow urine is an indication of severe dehydration. When you see that your urine is a dark color, it is advised that you immediately drink the contents of a large bottle of water. Otherwise, you risk heat stroke and other significant illness or injury.

     

    To guard against dehydration, workers are encouraged to follow these additional steps:

     

    • Hydrate well before heading off to work, drinking a bottle of water on the way in before a shift
    • Use a hydration backpack on the job or a water bottle with a carabiner that allows it to attach to your tool belt
    • Do not rely on thirst as an indication of the need to drink. Drink water regularly throughout the day.

     

    If you suffer an injury due to dehydration on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs of your medical expenses and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help protect your rights.

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