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Speaking of Safety

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Prevent heat exhaustion

The National Safety Council recommends that people who are working outside in hot weather, or in non-air-conditioned environments, should put a wet scarf around their necks. As the moisture evaporates, the body stays cooler.

Drinking enough water is very important. You can alternate water with a sport drink that has electrolytes. The key is to drink enough so you never get thirsty. If your urine is concentrated, a dark color, you need to drink more. Drink enough water so your urine is pale yellow.

When you are working outside, be sure to wear a hat and a lightweight, long sleeve shirt with no T-shirt underneath.

Remember that caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating. Drink decaf, bottled water, or sport drinks.

Don't wait to report an injury

Never wait until the end of your shift to report an injury. Do it immediately. This is especially true of puncture wounds on the fingers and hands. They must be treated aggressively, especially if foreign debris is present.

Hand infections travel up the tendon sheath. It could be only 10 or 12 hours before sepsis, a toxic condition resulting from the spread of bacteria, sets in.

Look around, walk around

Get away from your computer. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have found that short breaks at the right times reduce eyestrain and muscle discomfort without reducing productivity.

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