Since June is National Safety Month, we signed up for the National Safety Council newsletter, full of tips each week for staying safe on the job. These don’t apply specifically to welding, they are good general safety tips.
This week’s feature is on employee wellness, so I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about heat stress, especially for you folks welding out-of-doors where in some parts of the country we’re already hitting triple digits! And it’s not even summer yet!
First, take care of yourself: get exercise (even if you have a physical job, consider yoga, or a stretching routine), and eat right. Did you know there are foods you can eat that can improve your body’s ability to handle the heat? One of the best tips I’ve seen is “Eat your water” meaning eat foods that have a high water content (WATERmelon, celery, cucumber, etc.). And avoid fatty foods. Read more tips: “Beat the Heat with These Super Cool Foods”
You may also want to take a look at some of the great heat-beating welding apparel accessories you can add to your arsenal. Check out Miller’s new Arc Armor™ Heat Stress Protection products: The CoolBand™ and the CoolBelt™.
The CoolBand™ works with most Miller Arc Armor helmets to reduce under-the-hood temperature by up to 8 degrees (Farenheit).
And the Battery lasts up to six hours !
The CoolBelt™ system is a lightweight, belt mounting system that can lower temperatures under the hood up to 17 degrees! The CoolBelt also offers multiple air speeds and directional air controls to keep air moving over the users face and head.
Be sure to check out the Centers for Disease Control’s tips for maintaining personal safety in the heat, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guide to Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat (.pdf) and the OSHA Fact Sheet on Working Outdoors in Warm Climates (.pdf).
OSHA is running a campaign to raise awareness about heat illness: Drink water often, Rest in the shade, Report heat symptoms early, and know what to do in an emergency. There are great tips on their heat safety website.
Finally, visit the National Safety Council website for more safety tips– especially for Summer Safety!
And always keep your cool!