The human body is comprised of over 60% water. Exposure to hot environments and/or strenuous activity leads to sweating. Without adequate hydration this will lead to dehydration and heat stress. There are various factors that can cause dehydration. The factors below may specifically contribute to an increased incidence of dehydration and heat stress on work sites.
These factors are also considered external factors and cannot be controlled, but only managed. It is important that safety coordinators in workplaces take all of the factors below into consideration for their hydration plan.
These factors differ per individual. Safety coordinators need to know the demographic attributes of their workforce and take the individual dehydration factors into account accordingly.
The below factors are the responsibility of each safety coordinator. These factors can be controlled and when used properly, can avoid dehydration.
Performing strenuous work in hot and humid conditions can lead to dehydration, increased risk of injury and reduced productivity. The effects of dehydration resemble the effects of intoxication by alcohol, and collectively these effects can contribute to increased risk, and reduced productivity. Preventing Dehydration from occurring with electrolyte rehydration drinks like Sqwincher is usually the best solution.
“Just 2% of dehydration = a 20% decrease in work and mental performance”
The symptoms of dehydration depends on the severity of the dehydrated person. These symptoms are usually described as heat related illnesses and heat stress. There are five stages of dehydration and each stage consist of their own symptoms. These stages are:
For a detailed overview of all the symptoms of dehydration is discussed in our blog 'symptoms of heat illnesses and heat stress'