Farming Safely in the Heat July 31, 2020 The heat of summer can be a busy time for many farming and ranching operations. As you work in the heat and sun, follow these tips to help ward off heat-related illnesses and injuries for you and your team. Farming and ranching are important, and we want to help you stay safe doing what you do best. Wear Protective Clothing When working outdoors in warm climates, OSHA recommends wearing light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable clothing. Additionally, covering up by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses that block 99% to 100% UVA and UVB radiation could also protect your face and eyes while working. Take Breaks Taking 15-minute breaks in a cool, shady area at least every two hours while working can help decrease the risk of heat-related illness and fatigue. You could use an outbuilding nearby or the air-conditioned cab of your truck. It could also be helpful to schedule strenuous and demanding tasks in the early morning hours or late evening hours, when the temperature isn’t at its hottest. Don’t Forget to Fuel-up Remember to take time during your workday to drink water and eat sustaining foods/snacks. The CDC recommends drinking one cup of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of moderate activity. Ensuring you’re hydrated throughout the day could lower your risk of heat exhaustion, and it can power you up to continue safely getting work done. As for snacks, consider having fresh fruits, vegetables and salted items to help boost energy and balance electrolytes. Know the Symptoms It is important to know the symptoms and warning signs of heat-related illnesses. You should seek medical attention if you or one of your employees are experiencing these symptoms: Heat exhaustion: This occurs when the body is becoming dehydrated. Some symptoms include profuse sweating, shallow breathing, muscle cramps, irritability, feeling faint or dizzy. Heatstroke: This occurs when the body cannot control its internal temperature and is unable to cool down. Some symptoms include the absence of sweating, pulsating headache, difficulty breathing, lethargy, lack of coordination, unconsciousness, nausea or vomiting. While you’re working hard and looking out for the health of you and your team, we can help by providing coverage for your farm or ranch. Let us take care of the unexpected and help protect your livelihood with our Farm & Ranch Insurance. Contact an OKFB agent to discuss your farm and ranch needs.