Imagine if there were a magic elixir that could keep your warehouse personnel safer and cooler – while also improving their productivity, general mood and mental acuity.
Now imagine this: There is, and you can quite literally tap into its benefits any time.
We’re talking, of course, about water. More specifically we’re talking about how important it is to encourage your DC employees to drink it more frequently during these hotter summer months.
Although dehydration can occur anywhere, it’s more likely to occur in warm workplaces where the employees are constantly on the move (which describes many summertime warehouses to a “t”). And when it does, it can cause myriad problems, including muscle cramps, nausea, increased fatigue and headaches – or worse.
Plus, dehydration isn’t just a risk for the employee who’s suffering from it. For example, did you know that a dehydration level of just 3% can slow someone’s reaction time by the same amount as a blood alcohol level of .08? It can also impair productivity levels. That’s not something you want to risk when people are driving forklifts, operating conveyors or working around them.
But happily, dehydration is both curable and preventable – especially if you follow guidelines like the following:
- Make sure workers drink at least 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes – even if they don’t feel thirsty, because by the time that symptom occurs, mild dehydration is already under way.
- Make water, coffee or tea readily available in employee break rooms or near employee workstations. (And no, the inclusion of coffee or tea on this list isn’t a mistake. Studies now show that those beverages have hydrating benefits, too).
- Remind workers to routinely drink water even when they’re not at work – and to proactively hydrate before starting their work day. Research suggests that as many as 75% of Americans don’t consume enough water, which means a good number of your employees are probably showing up to work in a dehydrated condition.
- Encourage employees to augment their water consumption with drinks that contain electrolytes, especially if they’re routinely engaged in manual labor for two hours or more.
- Educate employees about the hydrating benefits of various fruits and vegetables, and encourage them to eat those during breaks; many like watermelon, spinach, tomatoes and oranges contain huge water content that can also help replenish lost liquids.
In addition, teach your employees how to monitor their bodies for signs of dehydration, including monitoring the color of their urine and comparing it to a hydration color chart. (Granted, this may require you to indulge in a bit of potty talk. But it’s for a good cause.)
For more ideas, take a look at the June 2020 Verst warehouse safety training calendar.
It’s got a lot of back-to-basics tips about how to help your employees keep their cool on the job during these hot and sticky summer months. Happy reading – and happy hydrating.
Download: June 2020 warehouse safety quiz