Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer Heat - Drink Plenty of Water and Communicate With Your Supervisors!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:

Summer is here and we are soon to be getting temperatures in the 90 plus degree range.  Just putting out a reminder of what to look for as far as heat exhaustion symptoms, prevention methods, etc.  We don't want our employees sustaining heat exhaustion type injuries as they are preventable.

The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, tiredness and weakness. Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation, dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.

The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress disorders:
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow them for short frequent breaks to cool down.
3. If heat is affecting employees, it’s a good idea to rotate employees job tasks from the heat exposure area to a non-heat exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Water is actually the best choice. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, Energy drinks, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
4. Don't forget to protect your skin - wear sunscreen.

We need to keep an eye on each other and if an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to rest and provide them with plenty of water. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical attention immediately, (911 in most areas). The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention. Everybody working in the heat should be communicating and checking on each other

As always, if you are having to take extra breaks due to the extreme heat, you must notify your lead supervisor who in turn must contact your Superintendent.  

Should you have any questions regarding heat related stress, you are encouraged to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Don't Leave Drywall on Drywall Carts Unattended!

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees,

We are just putting out a reminder to all of an I.D.I. best practice.  We cannot leave drywall on drywall carts unattended for long durations of time, such as overnight, as there is a risk of the drywall tipping and falling and seriously injuring someone.  You should only stack the amount of drywall on drywall carts that you will be using during your shift.  At the end of your shift, any drywall that is still on your drywall cart shall be removed from the drywall cart and stocked flat of the ground or on cribbing on the ground.  This doesn't only apply to drywall carts.  We cannot be leaving drywall stacked on its side leaning against walls, etc.  All drywall needs to be stacked flat on the ground or on cribbing on the ground when it is left unattended for long durations of time.  Also, if you are leaving drywall on a drywall cart for a short duration, for example (when going on lunch break), you should roll the drywall cart into an area where it is safe & secure and away from other contractors or the public so that the drywall isn't at risk falling on someone.  This best practice also applies to other materials that are stacked on drywall carts such as plywood, lead-board, cement board, etc.

Should you have any questions about the above, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!