MRO Magazine

Dehydration prevention reduces workplace accidents


June 14, 2001
By PEM Magazine

With the official start of summer only a few days away, many employees in industrial facilities will soon be toiling in the heat. Unfortunately, the high temperatures on the shop floor can do a lot more harm to workers than just mere discomfort. Dehydration in industrial environments can be a very serious health risk — it can result in lower productivity and an increase the number of work-related injuries. CamelBak of Petaluma, California, manufacturer of personal wearable water dispensers for industrial and military use, offers a series of tips to help stay hydrated while working:

  • Drink before, during and after physical labour to replace body fluid lost through perspiration;
  • Anticipate conditions that will increase the need for water, including high-temperature, humidity, wearing of protective clothing and difficulty of work;
  • By the time a person is thirsty, he or she is already two to three percent dehydrated. Once this occurs, it’s difficult to make up for the lost hydration;
  • Drink five to seven ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure proper hydration;
  • Keep individual containers of cool clean water within easy reach at all times;
  • Drink cool water (10ºC to 15ºC) — it’s absorbed much faster than either warm or very cold fluids;
  • Try carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks to help avoid heat cramps that can occur after several hours of drinking; and
  • Avoid coffee, tea or soda which act as diuretics, further depleting the body of fluid. Never drink alcohol while working