Florida summers can be both glorious and brutal.  There are few things more pleasant than the fresh scent of rain after a summer storm or the earthy aroma of a new-mown lawn. Unfortunately, the brutal heat that accompanies these scents of summer can be both exhausting and dangerous.


Sunburns, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are common during June, July and August.  For those companies that have employees working outside or in a hot warehouse, extra precautions should be taken to insure employees don’t suffer from a heat-related illness.


Here are some simple steps to keep employees healthy during the summer:


1)     Allow employees to take more frequent rest periods.

2)     Provide a sufficient supply of water and encourage employees to drink more frequently.

3)     Ensure your dress code encourages appropriate dress for the work environment to prevent overheating and/or sunburn.

4)     In warehouse environments open doors and windows and set up fans to ensure air circulation.

5)     Teach employees and supervisors how to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion and what to do if they or a co-worker begins exhibiting those symptoms.

6)     Encourage employees who work outdoors to use sunscreen and to regularly apply it throughout the day.  If possible, make bottles or cans of sunscreen available to your employees.


The OSHA website has more information about how to prevent heat-related illnesses at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.


Enjoy all of the beauty that Florida has to offer this summer, but make sure you and your employees stay safe from the heat.


Contributed by Christine Crews, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is Vice President of Human Resource Services for the Employers Association Forum, Inc. (EAF). EAF is a non-profit corporate membership-based association dedicated to serving the business and HR communities with world-class HR tools, hotlines & legal compliance, news & trends, surveys & economic data, benefits & insurance, risk management, training & consulting, and leadership & organizational development. HCCMO members receive discounted rates on all EAF classroom training at EAF’s training center in Longwood. Click here for currently scheduled programs: http://www.eafinc.org/online_store/training/HCCMO/training_programs.pdf.

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