Safety

Your guide to summer safety hazards

Hospital Safety Insider, July 21, 2016

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In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that June 2015 to May 2016 was the hottest consecutive 12-month period in the administration's records. The heat isn't expected to let up this summer, with NOAA predicting above-average temperatures for 48 states in the upcoming months.

As temperatures rise this summer, facilities will have to take extra steps to make sure staying cool doesn't compromise safety.

The issue is that most people don't realize they're dehydrated until they get symptoms. Mild dehydration symptoms include sleepiness, dizziness, and headaches? Not ideal for jobs that require multitasking and focus.

The Institute of Medicine says an adequate daily intake for men is about 13 cups (3 liters) and 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women. Encourage employees to find the time to hydrate regularly, and make sure there are adequate sources of water throughout the facility.

"You still need the same kind of protective shoes that you always wear at any other time of the year in the lab," he says. "Capri pants don't cover your legs, nor do shorts, so that should not be allowed as part of the laboratory dress code. But you can tend to see that in the summertime as well. And [the solution] is strictly management enforcement of the dress code."

Scungio suggests reminding employees that the dress code is the same in summer as it is in winter. He also recommends purchasing lightweight lab coats to encourage PPE compliance on hot days.

"If there's problems with [facility AC], you need to work with your facilities department to get those rectified," he says."

This is an excerpt from the monthly healthcare safety resource Medical Environment Update. Subscribers can read the rest of the article here. Non-subscribers can find out more about the journal, its benefits, and how to subscribe by clicking here.
 



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