Monthly Archives: May 2022

Five Tips for Staying Hydrated at Work

 tips for staying hydrated at workOur bodies depend on water for survival. Every organ, cell, and tissue requires hydration to work properly. Water helps your body maintain its temperature, lubricate your joints, and remove waste – it’s not hard to see why it’s so necessary for overall health. While most people know about the importance of water, it’s often hard to meet our hydration goals each day. That’s especially true for those working in hot conditions. If you’re hoping to turn over a new leaf and embrace all the benefits of hydration, follow these tips for staying hydrated at work:

1. The Best Way to Stay Hydrated While Working Outside

Our first tip is a proactive one: start hydrating before you begin working. Begin your day with a tall glass of water – add it to your morning routine and drink it alongside your cup of coffee. Eight ounces of H20 can go a long way to flush your system and begin building up your body’s overall hydration levels. Once you’re finished with the first glass, fill up a water bottle and continue to sip on your commute to work. Prevention can go a long way to mitigate the impact of heat stress throughout your work day.

Traditional wisdom says the human body requires eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day. In truth, that’s a baseline, not the standard. If you’re working in the heat, you’re going to need to drink a lot more than a mere 64 ounces. Invest in an oversized water bottle that can keep your water cold throughout the day. You’ll be more inclined to stay hydrated if your water is chilled and you don’t need to constantly refill your bottle. This is truly the best way to stay hydrated while working outside!

aerial lift certification

2. Learn the Signs of Dehydration

This National Drinking Water Week, learn the signs of dehydration. By understanding the red flags of dehydration, you can stay on alert for signs of trouble in yourself and your colleagues. Any time you’re working outside or in warm environments, it’s important to monitor for symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, a lack of focus, dry skin, and a rapid heartbeat. Too often, people dismiss these symptoms and push through working. In fact, pushing through signs of dehydration is one of the worst things a person can do. Instead, give these symptoms the respect they deserve and take a break to rehydrate. 

3. Hydration Safety in the Workplace

It can be a challenge to learn how to stay hydrated while working in hot weather. One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough water is to track your progress as you sip. There are no shortage of hydration apps for your phone that can help you monitor your fluid levels, but the old-fashioned way works, too. The color of your urine can tell you a lot about how hydrated you are. Aim for clear or pale yellow urine – if you see it become any darker, you may indeed be dehydrated. Take a break and replenish fluids right away.

Building drinking water habits into your routine can also help you practice hydration safety in the workplace. Try drinking a full glass of water with every meal, then set reminders on your phone every hour to take a few more sips and up your fluid intake. After awhile, the urge to hydrate will become second nature. There’s no harm in setting reminders in the meantime, though.

4. Pair Fluids with Electrolytes

In especially demanding jobs, plain drinking water may not be enough to guard against  the effects of dehydration. For those working in the direct summer sun or extreme temperatures, it’s a good idea to add sodium and potassium to your fluids. These are the electrolytes we often lose through sweat. 

Just like a professional athlete sips on sports drinks to stay hydrated during game time, industrial athletes need to be just as careful about their intake. Anyone searching for tips for staying hydrated at work should consider picking up sports drinks or powdered electrolyte supplements to add to their drinking water. This is also a good idea for anyone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of water and would prefer a little flavor added to their beverage each day.

5. Take Regular Breaks

The importance of staying hydrated at work can’t be understated. When employees are dehydrated, they’re often incapable of working to their full potential. This can make for slower rates of productivity and an increased risk of accidents and injuries. The solution? Take regular breaks to hydrate. While you might not think you need to set aside time just to drink water, it’s easy for the day to slip away when you’re busy working. By scheduling regular breaks for everyone on staff, you reinforce your organization’s commitment to hydration safety in the workplace.

aerial lift certification

Get Hydrated this National Drinking Water Week

There’s never been a better time than National Drinking Water Week to redouble your hydration efforts. The above tips for staying hydrated at work are a great start. If you’re really hoping to stay safe on the job and truly understand all the risks associated with working in an industrial setting, training and certification can go a long way. Even just one hour of education can help make you and your colleagues more informed and less likely to be involved in a workplace accident.

CertifyMeOnline.net offers convenient, affordable online training for aerial and scissor lift operators. Our courses teach you everything you need to know about the safe operation of such equipment, how to avoid accidents on the job, and how to promote a culture of wellness and safety in your organization. To learn more, contact us online or call (602) 277-0615.

OSHA Weather Guidelines All Lift Operators Should Know About

OSHA weather guidelinesThe weather forecast can have a serious impact on the average job site. Working on aerial lifts, boom lifts, and scissor lifts all come with their own unique challenges under the best of conditions. Add in high winds, heavy rain, or cold temperatures, and you’ll be facing an entirely new set of challenges. For these reasons, OSHA weather guidelines were created to help workers understand how to keep safe during tough conditions. Being prepared for bad weather can help foster a safer work environment and prevent accidents and injuries.

Why OSHA Weather Guidelines Matter

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s mission is to create safer work environments for Americans. While we typically think about OSHA is regards to their frequent inspections and certification requirements, they also work to educate and inform businesses about potential risks. OSHA severe weather guidelines can make all the difference in keeping workers safe on the job. 

For instance, aerial lifts can be risky in high winds or weather that impairs workers’ vision. Once in the air, aerial and scissor lifts can become unstable and tip over. That’s why OSHA has created limits to the type of weather aerial lifts can work in. The #1 goal is always to keep workers away from harm.

Severe weather can make it unsafe for workers to work or travel. At those times, some employers grant workers paid “climate leave”. This is a good practice for outdoor workers who deal with heavy equipment and fall hazards. According to OSHA weather guidelines, workers can’t be forced to man their jobs in unsafe weather. To do so goes against OSHA cold weather regulations. It also puts workers’ lives at risk.

aerial lift certification

OSHA Rules for Inclement Weather

There are a number of OSHA weather guidelines to keep in mind while working. Preparing for severe weather begins with weather awareness. Check both short and long-range forecasts for your region so you can take preventative measures ahead of time. With the forecast in mind, you can make the following adjustments in accordance with OSHA regulations:

OSHA Cold Weather Guidelines

Cold weather puts aerial lift operators at risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and other health problems. OSHA cold weather guidelines include:

  • Encourage workers to wear hats, gloves, and other warm clothing and accessories
  • • Schedule workers to complete tasks outdoors during the warmest part of the day
  • • Let employees work in pairs to limit each worker’s time outdoors
  • • Schedule maintenance and repair jobs for warm months
  • • Schedule jobs for warm parts of the day
  • • Limit exposure to extremely cold temperatures
  • • Provide warm areas where workers can take breaks throughout the day
  • Keep employees up to date about cold weather dangers as well. In doing so, workers will be well-equipped to watch for cold weather dangers and protect themselves and others against them

how weather affects aerial lift operators

Click image to enlarge

Share this Image On Your Site

OSHA Hot Weather Guidelines

OSHA encourages businesses to use the “heat index” to protect outdoor workers in hot weather. The index accounts for humidity and temperature and how they affect the safety of outdoor workers. By studying this index, an employer can take appropriate measures to safeguard its outdoor workers against heat-related illnesses. OSHA weather guidelines for hot days include:

  • Avoid using AWP and aerial lifts when temperatures reach the 90s or above
  • Keep a water supply close to the work site on hot days
  • Workers should consistently drink cool water throughout the day even if they’re not thirsty
  • Ease workers into the hot environment, allowing them to build a tolerance to the heat over the course of a week
  • Breaks in shaded areas are necessary for proper rest and recovery throughout the day
  • Hats and other hot weather attire are recommended to keep workers’ internal body temperatures at a safe place
  • Verbally check in with employees to look for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke

OSHA Rain Regulations

There are no specific guidelines from OSHA regarding rainy inclement weather construction. However, employers are always responsible for maintaining safe, healthy work environments. If a worker believes a rainy work environment is unsafe, they have the right to refuse dangerous work.

When it comes to rain or any other inclement weather conditions, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Harsh weather conditions should not hamper a worker’s ability to safely complete tasks outdoors. Otherwise, if workers are forced to work in poor weather conditions, they could put themselves or others at risk of accidents or injuries.

Tips to Protect Aerial Lift Workers in Severe Weather Conditions

If your area is anticipating severe weather, take action to protect workers from accidents and injuries. OSHA severe weather guidelines are just the beginning. Here are a few practical ways to protect workers from:

Strong winds

Aerial lift workers should use extreme caution when winds get too severe. Or they should stop working until the winds die down. Keep in mind that wind measured at ground level is often less severe than when measured at the height most AWP workers will be at. When in doubt, keep workers on the ground until winds have died down. 

✓ Slippery Surfaces

Snow, sleet, rain, ice – you name it and Mother Nature can create slippery ground in no time. Always ensure your base is stable before going up in a lift. Keep an eye on conditions throughout the day, too. What might have been stable at the start of the work day might no longer be as solid a foundation for AWP workers by noon. 

✓ Hot Temperatures

Don’t operate an aerial lift when it is 90 degrees or hotter. Extreme temps can cause loss of focus on the job. That spells doom when you’re up in an aerial lift! Heat exhaustion is a major concern for lift workers in hot, humid weather. When the temps start to climb, keep a water supply within reach.

✓ Severe Weather Patterns

Storms, hurricanes, and other severe weather systems are major hazards for lift workers. If bad weather is expected, get clearance from your safety supervisor before starting a job. The last thing you need is to be 100 feet up in the air when lightning and thunder strike!

aerial lift certification

Help Aerial Lift Operators Work Safely in All Weather

Following OSHA weather guidelines is a great way to keep workers safe, no matter what the forecast has in store. Ongoing training is crucial for aerial lift operators as well, as it keeps workers up to date about weather-related jobsite dangers. That way, aerial lift operators can  avoid weather-related accidents. At the same time, businesses can do their part to protect their aerial lift operators against severe weather conditions.

Businesses are responsible for providing their workers with safe and healthy work environments.  Failure to do so puts employees in danger and can lead to OSHA penalties and fines. If your business employs aerial lift operators, you should provide training that teaches them how to safely perform tasks in various weather conditions.

CertifyMeOnline.net offers an aerial lift training program that teaches workers about all aspects of lift safety. Upon completion, workers can earn aerial lift safety training certification that verifies they know how to safely use a lift in myriad weather conditions. For more information about our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.