Tips for Staying Cool & Safe During Extreme Heat

Even as the effects of the pandemic begin to wane across the U.S. a new crisis is emerging—that of brutal heatwaves across the country. According to The National Weather Service, the already blistering temperatures experienced by as much as 70% of the U.S. population in June of 2022 are likely to continue, with a hotter-than-average July, August, and September on the horizon.

For those who make a living driving trucks, heatwaves can be problematic. According to a 2018 study published in Temperature, cars parked in the sun on a hot day can go from 85 degrees to 116 degrees in just an hour due to the way heat and humidity can become trapped inside an enclosed space. This means that just being inside of a vehicle without the air conditioning on can be a dangerous prospect, even with the windows open.

Of course, most truck drivers do much more in the course of their busy days that can cause harm to their bodies in extreme heat such as securing a load, inspecting the truck, or parking in a no-idle space without shade, not to mention manual labor tasks such as loading and unloading freight with a pallet jack, hand cart, etc. Due to the nature of the occupation, drivers may find themselves at a higher risk of heat-related health complications such as heat exhaustion or its more serious cousin, heatstroke.

How to recognize heatstroke

In the summer months, drivers should remain aware of symptoms of heatstroke so they can recognize the signs and seek immediate the medical attention required by this condition. Without treatment, heatstroke can lead to serious health complications and cause damage to your heart, brain, muscles, and kidneys, and can even lead to death. The damage increases over time without proper medical treatment, so do not delay seeking treatment if heatstroke is suspected.

The most common heatstroke symptoms include the following and can happen suddenly—within 10-15 minutes if body temperatures rise above 106 degrees.

  • Throbbing headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Racing heart rate
  • High body temp (over 104 degrees F)
  • Strange behavior such as disorientation or confusion
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Rapid breathing

Preventing heatstroke

The best treatment for heatstroke is obviously to avoid it altogether. Here are a few ways to keep cool during high temps.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing with a wide-brimmed hat if possible.
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Drink extra fluids. It is recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water, fruit, or vegetable juice a day to stay hydrated. However, in extreme heat you should aim to drink 8oz of water every 20 minutes
  • Avoid high-caffeine beverages such as coffee, soda, or energy drinks as these can worsen dehydration
  • Choose a beverage with extra electrolytes such as Liquid IV or coconut water. These beverages not only keep you hydrated, but they also prevent a dangerous drop in electrolytes that contributes to health problems
  • Take frequent breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned space

Extreme heat is the deadliest weather condition and should be taken seriously. Be aware that health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as certain medications can increase your risk of an extreme reaction to heat. Make sure to take proper precautions when working in high temps to keep yourself safe and healthy. If heatstroke is suspected, seek professional medical attention immediately so you can continue to enjoy all the other perks of summertime for many years to come.

Why Would I Work For A Staffing Agency?

Why should you work for a staffing agency? Great question. While back in the early 90’s working for staffing firm may have come with a stigma, in today’s work environment that is heavily fueled by freelance, entrepreneurship, and independent contracting work; working for a staffing agency fits the bill.

Most employees today are looking for a job that offers them the opportunities to grow their skills and abilities and the flexibility to meet the needs of their personal lives. The current pandemic has had major impacts on school and daycare arrangements, making the need for flexible options even more critical.

Partnering with a reputation staffing agency, should present you with multiple job opportunities to help you make an educated decision on which opportunity is the best fit for you. Please take a few moments to view the video below to see what real Trillium employees have shared about their experience. We’d love to help you too!

The Trillium brand of companies is privately owned by René Poch and provides more than 30 years of industry leading recruitment and staffing services through its divisions including: Trillium Staffing, Trillium Construction Services, Trillium Driver Solutions, Trillium Technical, and Trillium Environmental. With approximately 100 offices nationwide and nearly 400 internal recruitment professionals, the Trillium brand is proud to be recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts as a Top 35th Largest Industrial Staffing Firm in the U.S., a Top 100 Largest Staffing Firm in the U.S., a Top 100 Fastest Growing Staffing Firm in the U.S., and a 2018 winner of National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. For more information please visit www.trilliumstaffing.com.

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