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Stay Hydrated (and Safe!) in the Heat

by | Jul 1, 2021 | General

Don’t forget your water (and rest and shade!) while you work! 

According to, dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated. This is especially important for those of us who work hard outside for long periods of time in what can be brutally hot temperatures.

Look out for signs and symptoms of dehydration in yourself and your fellow workers. These include: 

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Preventing dehydration by continuously replacing lost fluids is the key. OSHA’s prevention tips for staying safe in extreme heat include water, rest, and shade


For short jobs, you are encouraged to drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water every 20 minutes while working in the heat, not just if you are thirsty.

For longer jobs lasting more than two hours, incorporate electrolyte-containing beverages such as sports drinks as you will lose salt and other electrolytes when you sweat. 

Don’t rely on feeling thirsty to prompt you to drink. Dehydration can happen before then.

Rest & Shade

When heat stress is high, take breaks. The length and frequency of rest breaks should increase as heat stress rises. Breaks should last long enough for you to recover from the heat. 

If you’re able to rest in a cooler location, you will be ready to resume work more quickly. Outdoors, this might mean a shady area, an air-conditioned vehicle, a nearby building or tent, or an area with fans and misting devices.

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