A recent report released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015 indicated that although Texas had the most heat injury cases that year, Kansas had the highest rate of heat injuries: 1.3 per 10,000 workers.
Luckily, P1 Group's record has not followed that trend.
So what do P1 field associates do to prevent heat-related injuries in what is shaping up to be one of the hottest summers on record? Same things as always, said Don Campbell, VP Safety.
“Drink water, lots of water. Many people in the field are also drinking electrolyte drinks and that can help. Take rest breaks. And we all need to be aware of our co-workers, especially if they are showing signs of heat stress."
P1 associates who are working on rooftops, especially dark rooftops, are probably most at risk and need to drink even more water and take breaks in the shade.
Campbell pointed out that some P1 field associates are also at risk for heat injuries during cold weather months, when they are working in hot steam tunnels.
“We actually have a cold weather policy to cover heat injuries in those situations,” said Campbell.
Some steam tunnel workers have worn neck cooling cloths and chilling vests so they can keep from overheating.
“The field calls us when they have someone with heat cramps and I can’t recall any in the last couple of years,” said Campbell. “People are doing a good job with water and rest to prevent problems.”
SAFETY FIRST: Preventive Training for Hot Conditions
All P1 field employees have at least one Toolbox Talk each year dedicated to heat and preventing heat illnesses, covering:
Heat stress signs and progression:
- Salt depletion through heavy sweating can cause heat cramps.
- People experiencing heat exhaustion might be very sweaty, extremely thirsty with cool/moist skin, a quick pulse, rapid breathing, nausea, fatigue and fainting.
- Heat stroke symptoms include hot, red, dry skin, difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, weakness and nausea. Heat stroke can quickly progress to convulsions, coma, loss of pulse and rapid death.
What to do:
- Move to the shade, loosen clothing and drink a lightly salted liquid.
- Cool the person as quickly as possible – fan them and pour water on them. Insist that they drink water and call for medical help.
- Act quickly to immerse the person in water and apply ice if possible.
- Call an ambulance.
Service Calls Ramp up in the Heat
P1 service coordinators had a couple days of cool weather late this month (in every P1 location except Las Vegas), giving them a break from the constant stream of calls they had during weeks of brutally hot weather in June.
But the heat skyrocketed again this week. According to Jill Hollingsworth, Senior Service Coordinator, it can be a scramble.
And it isn’t “just” taking calls and getting technicians out to do the work, there is some juggling to make sure the customers who need it most get the fastest service. Technicians are sent to service contract customers ahead of those who don’t have contracts, but life safety situations (at hospitals, for example) get the fastest response times, contract or not.
In Las Vegas, Cristine Douglas, Service Project Coordinator, said calls did not slow down at all the week of June 25, with temps upward of 110 degrees.
Stay cool everyone!