Heat Stress Tips
Our union provides us with the tools to take ownership of our safety. We must do everything we can to put ourselves and our brothers and sisters in the best position to come home safely each day.
We cannot risk our health or our safety, especially with the heat. If you experience or witness any member struggling with the heat or showing signs of heat stress please immediately seek medical attention for them or yourself and sit down to wait for medical transport.
Some tips shared by other members who have experienced extreme heat in the plant are:
- Drink water. Even if you aren’t thirsty, keep hydrating.
- Avoid drinking energy drinks, soda and alcohol, especially the night before your shift, it dehydrates you.
- Avoid “heavy” meals when at work and eat plenty of high water content fruits and veggies: tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, citrus, etc.
- Use a spray deodorant, powder or anti-chafe stick anywhere that clothing may dig into or rub your skin, or anywhere skin touches.
- Wear lightweight moisture wicking clothing, and bring a sports towel (or kitchen towel!) to soak in ice water and wrap around your neck periodically.
- If you are consuming large amounts of water and do not eat much salt, bring in a salty snack to add to your diet. (Plain lays, pretzels and beef jerky are some mentioned.)
- Try to get plenty of rest at home and give your body time to recover from the day.
- Suffering muscle cramps? Members recommend eating bananas before work and pickles or pickle juice after work.
All of these are tips shared by members in the plant, but the main thing to remember is that we ALL tolerate heat differently. What isn’t hot for one may be too much to handle for the person next to them. Don’t feel like you need to “tough it out” if you are experiencing heat stress symptoms, or if you are feeling worse on a day that isn’t as hot as the last. Only you know your limits and without issues being reported or documented it is hard to fight for better conditions.