MRF Best Practices: Prepare & Prevent Heat Stress
Every summer, managers and employees inevitably deal with the question of how to prevent heat stress in the workplace. The Leadpoint onsite management team recently shared their best practices for keeping employees and MRF jobsites safe as the temperatures rise this summer.
We asked, “How can I prepare for the hot weather and be ready when it gets here?”
- Create a plan to help alleviate heat stress issues at your MRF. Communicate your plan with MRF owners and managers and get their buy-in.
- Communicate with employees early and often. Get them to start thinking about their personal hydration plans – at work and away from the MRF.
- Make sure fans and misters are in good working order. Get them repaired or replaced before you need them.
- Order Gatorade and additional water bottles ahead of time so you don’t run short while waiting for an order to come in.
- Watch the local weather report so you know when those extremely hot days are coming.
What precautions can be taken to prevent heat stress-related injuries?
- Communicate with employees early and often. Yes, this is a repeat from the preparation tips! Every employee should understand the importance of staying hydrated before, during and after work. Their health and heat safety are our concern!
- Make heat stress a regular topic at safety meetings.
- Post bulletins about heat stress and how to identify and prevent it in high-traffic areas where employees can read it.
- Train line leads to recognize the symptoms of heat stress and how to differentiate it from the more dangerous symptoms of heat stroke. They should know the signs and what to do if they see an employee exhibiting those symptoms.
- Monitor employees throughout the day to make sure they are drinking enough water and have it readily available.
- Work with customers and owners to allow for more frequent breaks. Rotate one or two employees at a time off the line to the break room for short breaks so they can cool-off. This is especially important on days with excessive high heat.
- Encourage employees to wear lighter, more breathable clothing in the summer months.
In summary, it just makes good safety sense to revisit the topic of heat-related injury every year. Continuous communication with site customers/owners and employees can help reduce incidents and make those hot summer months easier to take at your MRF.