Summer is already upon us, and we can feel the rising temperature and heat across many parts of the country. No matter where you live, summer-related illnesses are common every year which is why following the right summer wellness strategies is so important.
Some common summer illnesses include heatstroke, sunburn, dehydration, heat rashes, or even food poisoning (since exposed food goes bad quickly at higher temperatures) to name a few. To keep your employees safe during the summer months (especially the ones who spend a lot of time outdoors or commute over long distances), we have rounded up some summer wellness tips. Use the following tips to help your team stay healthy through the summer heat.
One of the common summer workplace risks is heat stress. Typical symptoms of heat stress include:
- Muscle cramps
- Heat rash
- Poor concentration
- Severe thirst
- Outdoor workers are also exposed to the constant UV rays
If not addressed on time, all these can add up to severe health issues.
11 summer wellness tips
Encourage your employees to drink plenty of water and other fluids (not sugary ones!) at work. Ensure hygienic and cool drinking water is available at the workplace. Spread awareness about why employees should keep themselves hydrated and encourage them to consume at least 1 cup of water every 15 minutes throughout their work shift.
2. Break time for outdoor workers
If your workers are working at construction sites or in the outdoors, encourage them to take breaks during the hottest time of the day. Ensure there are enough ventilated or shaded areas where they can rest during break times.
3. Create an injury/illness prevention plan
To ensure a safe workplace, you need to begin with a plan. List down different heat-related hazards and how you will mitigate the risks. The onus here lies with both the management and employees. While employees can offer a safe workplace, employees need to follow all the safety guidelines prescribed by the employer.
4. Make a comfortable workplace
If your employees work indoors, make the workplace relaxed and comfortable. Invest in a good HVAC or cooling system and make sure it is in working condition before the summer months set in. Encourage employees to keep the doors and windows open if they are working in workshops to have enough ventilation. Arrange for portable fans and water coolers to give them some respite from the sun.
Also read: How to Build a Positive Workplace Culture
5. Have a rapid response team in place
Educate employees to understand the signs of heatstroke and what to do in such events. Having a rapid response team ready can be of great help before the medics arrive.
6. Have appropriate dress guidelines
Encourage employees to wear summer-appropriate light cotton clothes that will keep them cool when the heat in the air rises.
7. Acclimatise your workers
If your workers spend a lot of time outdoors, let them acclimatise to the heat before starting full fledge. This will also help you monitor if any of them show any signs of illness.
8. Make summer commuting easier
For employees who need to communicate long distances for work, the summer months can be difficult. Encourage them to work from home during the summer months, if that is possible. If not, allow them flexible timing to reach the workplace early morning. Arranging cabs for the summer months can also help your employees to travel comfortably during this time.
9. Stock the pantry with fresh, seasonal fruit
Make seasonal fruits like watermelons, musk melons, and citrus fruits available in the office pantry. Seasonal fruits help the body stay cool and provide great nutrition at the same time. You can also keep fresh fruit juices and coolers or local drinks like buttermilk, coconut water, yoghurt, etc.
10. Encourage unwell employees to take time off
Taking time off from work will allow unwell employees to get adequate rest and come back healthy. If possible, provide company-facilitated medical assistance during the leave period so that they can heal faster.
11. Adding plants, cooling themes to office décor
A little bit of change in the office décor can keep up the mood of the employees and help them feel more energetic and productive throughout the day. Decorate the office space with summer-themed colours and add some live green plants to add some greenery. It will also help to keep the office space relaxed and inviting.
Recognise the signs of heat-stroke
Heatstroke is the most serious illness due to prolonged exposure to intense heat. It occurs when the body is unable to regulate and control its temperature. As the body temperature increases, the sweating mechanism that keeps the body cool fails, and the body loses its ability to cool down naturally. The body's temperature can go as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit during heat stroke within 10-15 minutes. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Slurry speech
- Profuse sweating
- Loss of consciousness
- High body temperature
Heat strokes can be fatal if not attended to at the right time.
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Recognise the signs of heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion occurs when there is excessive loss of water and salt due to profuse sweating. People with high blood pressure are more prone to heat exhaustion. Older adults may also be affected by heat exhaustion. Common signs of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Decreased urine
- Heavy sweating
- Very high body temperature
What to do when there is heat exhaustion or heat stroke
If an employee feels sick, send them to the emergency room or make them rest in a cool, well-ventilated area until professional help arrives.
- Give them a lot of water to drink
- Remove socks, shoes, and unnecessary clothing
- Give them a cold compress
- Wash the face, neck, hand, and feet with cold water
- Circulate fresh air around the employee to help the body cool down faster
- Place a cold or wet cloth near the neck or armpit
Working during the summer months can be challenging, especially in areas where summer temperatures are very high. These summer wellness tips will help your employees to stay fit and on top of their energy levels.
At Manah Wellness, we provide innovative tools and professional support to dynamic startups, emerging businesses, and trusted brands. Browse our vast range of services and resources to support wellbeing and growth:
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