NOTE: IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO SUPERVISORS: Encourage employees to take frequent breaks for rest and water breaks for workers that feel heat discomfort. Identify cooler areas where employees can take a moment and cool themselves from the heat.
If you are not sweating or you have not urinated, it is a sign of dehydration.
Did you know that after a holiday weekend, most people who consumed alcohol are more exposed to dehydration?
Drinking alcoholic beverages in hot weather can have serious consequences. During extreme heat, we sweat more, and drinking alcohol can cause us to lose fluids because of an increase in urination. This combination can lead to dehydration. The body's temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus gland.
The human body is normally able to regulate its temperature through sweating until it is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage, and even death. In 2019, 884 people died and 2,061 were injured in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat.
Remember to look after yourself and your coworkers, if you notice they have not been drinking water, encourage them to stay hydrated, also if you see that they stop sweating or show symptoms of heat exhaustion make sure you take a break and cool down to bring the body temperature down. Consult with your supervisor to momentarily remove some safety gear while away from dangerous areas and while not around work in progress so you can cool down. Remember to gear up again with all your protective gear once you get back to work.
The natural choice for hydration is water. It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during work. Water tends to be less expensive and more available than any other drink. You need to drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of work. That can add up to a lot of water! Water is the best, but it only helps you if you drink it.
Are you drinking enough?
When you are drinking enough fluids, your body is in balance and your urine will be a pale straw-yellow color. When you have not drunk enough fluids, your kidneys try to save as much water as they can and cause your urine to be darker in color (more concentrated).
Dark yellow urine is a sign that you are dehydrated and that you must drink more fluids to prevent dehydration. Dehydration... happens when your body loses too much water. This occurs when you do not take in enough fluids or lose too much fluid from vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, or sweating a lot.
These illnesses cause your body to “save” any fluids that it can find such as those from your blood or other body tissues.
By the time a person becomes severely dehydrated, there is not enough fluid in the body to send blood to your organs and you may go into shock which is life-threatening.
Early signs of dehydration:
Dry, sticky mouth color
Reduced urine output
Dark yellow urine (concentrated)
Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for any drugs that may make your urine change
Moderate signs of dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry appearance in the mouth
- Eyes aren’t tearing (dry eyes)
- Urine has decreased to half as many times in 24h (usually 3 or fewer times)
- Urine is very dark in color (dark amber or brown)
- You feel dizzy or lightheaded, and relieved when you are lying down
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