Hot working conditions, either under the sun or in barns, are faced by most farmworkers, even in relatively cool Maine. In an effort to provide health education about heat stress, this past week, MMHP participated in a Heat Stress Prevention Marathon organized by AFOP (Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs). The week was held as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s Heat Stress Prevention month in June.
Aliza Kreisman, MMHP’s summer staff person, traveled to several vegetable farms, dairies, and farmworker housing sites to share information about heat-related illnesses, how to work safely in the heat, and what to do if experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
As many of us spend long periods of time outside in the heat of the summer, a few useful facts to know are:
1. When exerting yourself in the heat, it is recommended to drink one cup of water every 15 minutes – 1 liter every hour!
2. In order to best hydrate your body, water is the best and only liquid to drink. Energy drinks, such as Gatorade, as well as soda and alcohol are all dehydrating.
3. Extreme thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, extreme sweating, and irritability are all symptoms of heat exhaustion. If experiencing any of these symptoms, you should drink water, rest in the shade, loosen constricting clothing, and splash your skin with cool water. If you don’t improve, seek professional medical attention.
In addition to heat stress trainings, MMHP offers free Pesticide Safety Trainings. Any interested farms can contact MMHP at 207-441-1633 or ###rpuneyrf#at#znvarzvtenag.bet###.
Stay safe and cool this summer!