Beat the Heat with Water, Rest, & Shade

Summer Safety Topic

Construction worker drinking water

Every year, dozens of workers die, and thousands become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible. A range of heat illnesses can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.

This summer, remember three key words: Water, Rest, & Shade!

Here are some other tips to prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Hydrate before, during and after work. Drink 1 cup of cool water every 20 minutes even if you aren’t thirsty. For longer jobs, drinks with electrolytes are best. Avoid energy drinks and alcohol.
  • Find shade or a cool area for rest breaks that allow your body to recover.
  • Dress for the heat, and wear loose, breathable clothing.
  • Avoid high-energy activities during the midday heat, if possible.
  • Watch for heat cramps (muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs), heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, fast or weak pulse, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, and vomiting), and heat stroke (extremely high body temperature above 103 degrees F taken orally, red, hot and dry skin with no sweat, a rapid, strong pulse, dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness).

If you suspect a heat stroke, call 911 and Public Safety at 212-305-7979 to immediately get the person to a hospital. Cool down with whatever methods are available until emergency responders arrive. Do not give the person anything to drink.

For more information or questions about beating the heat this summer, please get in touch with your supervisor or a Campus Life Safety & Regulatory Compliance team member.