#TBT: The Dangers of Dehydration

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, and manual laborers across the country are preparing for the changing work conditions. Though not everyone has an interest in working in an office environment, air conditioning and indoor temperature control is a luxury that many Millwood team members don't have. 

With a job as physically demanding as pallet repair (most repairmen toss around 65lb pallets for hours at a time), your physical health is just as important as your skill set or experience. That's why Millwood has dedicated health programs and safety managers who work with team members to prevent any accidents, injuries or health problems while on the job. 

In a warm facility while doing heavy labor, pallet repairmen are at risk for both dehydration and heat stroke. Some may not know it's happening- if you notice the following symptoms, you could be at risk:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Few or no tears
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Lethargy and confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness that does not allow the person to stand or walk normally
  • Blood pressure drops when the person tries to stand after lying down 
  • Poor skin elasticity (skin slowly sinks back to its normal position when pinched)

Jay Olander, Millwood's safety trainer, suggests you "Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink in the summer months.  Stay away from colas and energy drinks, they accelerate dehydration."

So what's the best way to avoid dehydration? Simple- drink lots of water! Fortunately, it's an easy fix for a serious problem. If left untreated (ie, a team member continues to work in the heat without taking a rest or a drink of water) dehydration can require IV fluids to help level body fluids. 

Remembering to drink water periodically through the day (before you become thirsty!) is the best way to prevent dehydration. Encouraging the habit of routine water breaks is a simple solution that can keep your employees, friends and family safer over the summer months.

Author: Paige Greene