Most companies employ measures to mitigate heat stress on the job. These may include hydration, lighter clothing and PPE, more frequent breaks, and monitoring urine color. And while all of these are important, the truth is that these measures alone won’t cool down a body that has begun to overheat. Even a lightly clothed and hydrated person can experience heat stroke if they continue to work in an overheated state.
The CDC tells us that “simply stopping hard work will not result in an immediate decrease” in body temperature. The agency recommends allowing workers to take breaks in a cool environment like an air-conditioned room or a cooler shaded area to cool people down. But what about working environments where these ideal conditions aren’t available? While cold water is a must for any safe work site, air conditioning isn’t always available and shade isn’t always cool, particularly for sites that are remote or very hot.