Here’s a challenging scenario: A scorching summer heatwave is causing problems for workers, even with precautions in place like a supply of cool water and plenty of rest breaks. The workers are drinking water and taking breaks, but the intense heat is affecting them not long after they return to work. What would you do in this situation?
Manager Mike Kelly stepped into the shipping office and wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Wow, it’s hot out there,” he said.
“It’s not even noon yet and it’s in the 90s already,” Supervisor Jack Hall grumbled.
“How’s your crew holding up?” Mike asked.
“They’re hot and miserable,” Jack replied.
Typical Jack answer, Mike thought.
“I’m sure they are,” Mike replied. “Just be sure they’re getting plenty of water and breaks to recover.”
“Of course,” Jack said. “I may be old school, but I’m not heartless.”
Mike laughed as he walked out the door, until the furnace-like heat slapped him in the face and removed all thoughts of mirth.
‘I just got back from a break’
As he walked down the dock, Mike noticed a number of forklift operators who looked like they were seriously suffering from the heat.
“Hey Gary,” Mike called out to one, “Why don’t you take a break? You’re looking a little rough.”
“I just came back from a break about five minutes ago,” Gary replied. “And we have trucks waiting.”
Many of the other operators responded in a similar manner – they were taking breaks and drinking plenty of water, but a short time back in the extreme heat, and they were suffering again.
If you were Mike, what would you do in this situation? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and your response could be featured in a future Safety News Alert post.