PestSure Blog

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3 minutes reading time (631 words)

The Heat Is On For Summer Safety

It may not be the dog days of summer yet, but you would never know it. The climate outlook for the month of July, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, is that temperatures will be well above average across much of the country, spanning the Mountain West to the East Coast.

For service technicians, summer not only means dealing with increased pest pressure and full routes but dealing with the heat found in crawlspaces and attics. Knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses and training employees on ways to reduce their exposure to excessive heat can head off problems.

Heat Related Illnesses

Problems develop when the body’s cooling mechanisms do not work properly. For example, when the air temperature exceeds body temperature, the body cannot easily cool itself. If the air is humid, sweat also does not evaporate quickly. Sweat also does not evaporate from a person wearing protective gear making heat-related illness a concern in any weather, anywhere.

Heat-related illness takes several forms. Heat rash occurs when sweat ducts become clogged. Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms caused by the loss of electrolytes from heavy sweating. If you develop these conditions, immediately get out of the heat so you can rest.

When the body loses too much water and salt, heat exhaustion sets in. Signs include weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache, heavy sweating, and clammy skin. A heatstroke victim will present with a rapid pulse, hot red skin, and has stopped sweating due to lack of body fluids. The victim may show mental confusion, a decrease in alertness, and blurred judgment.

Awareness is vital to prevent heat-related illnesses as is educating employees on preventative measures, symptoms, and treatments.

Listen to Your Body

Even after following all the necessary precautions, technicians should still be on the lookout for overexertion. Overexertion accounts for about 3.3 million emergency room visits a year in the United States, and symptoms can be heightened in the heat.

Stop and take a break if you experience the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Sore or painful muscles
  • Pulse higher than recommended exercise pulse
  • Feeling very hot and sweating profusely
  • Low abdominal pain
  • Nausea

How to Beat the Heat

What steps can technicians working in the heat take to combat the heat this summer? PestSure offers the following tips:

  • Eat light. The more calories you take in, the more body heat you produce.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before work and throughout the day. Take water breaks every 15 minutes when working outdoors. Avoid caffeine.
  • Wear lightweight clothing, wide-brimmed hats, SPF 15 sunscreen, and UV-absorbent sunglasses protect you from direct sunlight.
  • Become acclimatized (gradually build up exposure to heat), especially workers who are new to working in the heat or have been away from work for a week or more.
  • If possible, physical demands should be reduced in the heat, or heavier work scheduled for cooler times of the day.
  • Rotate job functions among workers to help minimize overexertion and heat exposure.
  • Workers should watch out for each other for symptoms of heat-related illness and administer appropriate first aid to anyone who is developing a heat-related illness.
  • Have an emergency plan in place that specifies what to do if a worker has signs of heat-related illness and ensures that medical services are available if needed.

PestSure – Your Partner in Safety

Founded in 1980, PestSure is the only insurance and risk management provider that is 100 percent dedicated to the pest management industry. It offers industry professionals a full suite of insurance, risk management, and safety training and education offerings.

PestSure provides insurance, safety and risk management consulting to pest management companies representing $2 billion in revenue, $750 million in payroll and more than 16,500 service vehicles. The program is administered by Alliant Insurance Services.

Call 888.984.3813 or visit our contact page for more information

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Friday, 12 August 2022