Dehydration is more than just feeling parched and can have severe health consequences, especially during the summer, which is why we’ve put together some tips to stay hydrated all day long.
Signs of Dehydration
Protecting employees from dehydration is as simple as ensuring they have access to clean, pure water. Here are a few of the typical signs.
- Feeling irritated
- Having a dry mouth or feeling thirsty
- Dry or cracked lips
- Flushed skin
- Medium-to-dark urination
How Employees Can Take Care of Themselves in the Heat
It is recommended that employees drink about one cup of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to replace what is lost. Encourage them to wear lightweight, breathable clothing and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Let them know the symptoms of dehydration and that dark urine is a visible sign that they need to consume more liquids.
If their clothes become saturated with sweat, they should bring a change of clothes so they can get into dry ones as soon as possible. They should come prepared with plenty of fluids and, where applicable, appropriate PPE for high temperatures, humidity, and difficult work. Recommendations for daily intake vary by age, climate, and physical activity level.
You should call for help immediately and move into a cool place if you see signs of dehydration in a coworker.
How Employers Can Help with Hydration at Work
Many studies also confirm that workplace hydration levels affect productivity. A 1-percent decrease in moisture causes a noticeable 12% decrease in productivity. And at three to four percent of moisture loss, productivity drops by 25-50%.
Below are some tips employers can use to promote proper hydration in the workplace.
- Ensure hydration by educating employees on the signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to handle them. Remind people with visual reminders like posters and ongoing training.
- Keeping drinks readily available encourages employees to stay hydrated.
- Encourage employees to stay hydrated with reusable water bottles or hydration packs. Reusable water bottles or hydration packs remind people to stay hydrated at all times.
- Pick the right PPE. Wear breathable protective gear to help workers remain cool while sweat evaporates.
- Employees can keep a watchful eye on each other with the buddy system. Their managers can keep an eye on them as well.
- Prepare an emergency plan. Explain to employees their roles in case a coworker needs first aid or medical attention.
Everyone Must Stay Hydrated at Work
Employers should encourage employees to pay attention to their bodies and be on the alert for symptoms of dehydration in themselves and their coworkers, especially on hot days. Consumption of fluids at regular intervals throughout the day is one of the best ways to prevent dehydration and something that employers can make a regular part of their work culture.