Here we are once again working in Mississippi heat. It cannot be avoided, but it can be not-so-bad with preparation and taking precautions.
Agriculture is at the top of the list for workers that suffer from heat-related illnesses. Over half of heat-related fatalities occur in those who are not acclimated to working in hot environments. It takes time to build up a tolerance to heat.
Acclimatize to the heat…
To help workers build heat tolerance, reduce the duration of the work, but not the intensity. This can be accomplished by using the Rule of 20 Percent…The first day work 20% of the normal duration. Then each additional day add 20% to that duration until the worker is performing a normal schedule. For example: Someone working 8 hours will only work 1 hour, 36 minutes the first day in the heat, the next day 3 hours, 12 minutes.
According to OSHA, “By following the Rule of 20 Percent, new workers will be working a full schedule by the end of their first week. The Rule of 20 Percent should protect most workers who are physically fit and have no medical problems. Other workers may require more time to adapt to heat – up to 14 days in some cases.”
Workers that are acclimated to the heat still need plenty of breaks and hydration to avoid heat exhaustions.
Heat exhaustion symptoms:
Some great tips from our own employees, that may help you in the heat.