This time of the year in Minnesota most of us are wishing for warmer weather. Depending on your point of view, winter has either been too long or too cold and summer cannot come soon enough. With summer though, comes heat and humidity. For those of us involved in activities and careers requiring exposure to the heat of summer, it also comes with risks of heat related illnesses.
WHAT IS HEAT STRESS?
Heat stress occurs when the body fails to control its internal temperature. Common reactions to heat stress include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Fatalities are relatively rare (815 fatalities between 1992 and 2017 according to Ergodyne’s industry survey) however, 66,000 injuries occurred in the United States during the same period.
Over the last few years, heat stress has been a hot topic in safety. It’s likely you know that it means the stress your body is under as the temperature of your working conditions rise. Minnesotans are not only familiar with 40 below, we are familiar with 100+ degree heat. And then we need to add in humidity. There is likely a math equation for the heat index, that is what the feels like temp is. Let’s just say that when the dew point is high, the heat is high and you feel like you are in the middle of the Rain Forest it’s hard to work. Luckily there are some really great tools out there to keep your core body temp under control. Check out our website for Heat Stress Safety items like the Cooling Neck Gaiter.
HOW DO I PREVENT HEAT STRESS
Heat-related illness is 100% preventable with adequate hydration, rest, shade, cooling PPE and sunscreen. OSHA has not established federal heat illness prevention standards but by being aware of the dangers, certain steps can be taken to prevent heat stress.
The cooling PPE referenced above uses evaporative technology. This means that the product itself cools as the moisture in it evaporates into the hot air. You may also need absorptive heat stress solutions, think of old school sweat bands. These keep the sweat and dirt out of eyes and hands so you stay safe while you work. Learn more about these here.
Keep employees hydrated. Provide them with sunscreen and cover bare skin whenever possible. Provide clothing and accessories with cooling features. Offer them shade tents where natural shade is lacking. Employers can provide a safer workplace while also keeping everyone productive and sending them home healthy.
MINNESOTA HAS ROOTS IN HEAT STRESS SAFETY
Ergodyne, started right here in St. Paul, MN is a quality provider of safety products. Some of their cooling products include, Chill-Its Evaporative Cooling Bands, Chill-Its Ranger Hats, Chill-Its Headbands and Shax Pop-Up Tents. Contact MC Tool & Safety Sales and let’s work together to keep you cool!
If you need more information, we highly suggest Ergodyne’s toolbox talk series on heat stress. Check them out here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you stock cooling products and clothing? YES, we provide many options from Ergodyne, Pyramex, Global Glove, and others ready for pick-up today.
Do you accept walk in business? Of course! Our warehouse is open Monday – Friday 7:30AM – 4:30PM and we love walk in service.
Do I need to have an account? No, you can pay with cash or credit card. We accept American Express, Master Card and Visa.
How do I care for heat stress clothing? Always follow the manufacturers instructions, but most items can be laundered with your other work clothes at home.
Please contact our Customer Service Department to get the answers to any of your questions today! Just call toll free at 1-888-206-2569, or if you are in the Greater Minneapolis Area dial 763-786-5350.
CONTACT MC TOOL & SAFETY FOR TOP-NOTCH GAS MONITOR SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Many thanks to Tenacious Holdings Inc. dba Ergodyne for the pictures and information shared here today. Visit their website at www.ergodyne.com for the latest products and news.