The Hidden Danger: Understanding Heat Stress
As temperatures rise and sunnier days linger ahead, we begin to hear about the dangers of heat stress, especially those working outdoors. But what exactly is heat stress? According to OSHA, heat stress occurs when we're exposed to extreme heat, but our bodies can't adjust to their normal temperature. As a result, it can lead to a range of health concerns, from heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity can cause dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness. These conditions not only jeopardize our well-being but also can impair our job performance.
Based on the CDC's Heat and Health Tracker, 67,512 emergency visits are due to heat, 9,235 are hospitalized, and 702 heat-related deaths occur annually. Between 50-70% of heat-related fatalities occur during the first days of working in a hot environment because our bodies are not acclimated to the sudden temperature change. Our bodies need to build a tolerance to changing temperatures to reduce our chances of fatal outcomes. At DragonWear, we understand the dangers of heat stress and are committed to providing certified clothing options that mitigate heat stress while ensuring superior moisture management.
Tips to Reduce Heat Stress
1. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after working in the heat. Waiting until you feel thirsty is a sign that you are already dehydrated.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Make sure to schedule rest periods in shaded or cool areas.
3. Wear Lightweight PPE
Choose lightweight, loose-fitting PPE that moves moisture away from the skin and is breathable. The Pro Dry® and Pro Dry® Tech collection offers certified PPE options designed to combat heat stress, with superior moisture management to keep you comfortable all day.
4. Use Sun Protection
Always wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. And for additional defense, our Pro Dry Tech collection has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection.
5. Eat Regular Meals + Snacks
The salt in your meals will replace what was lost from sweating as long as you're drinking plenty of water.
The Importance of Wearing the Right PPE
Wearing the right type of PPE is critical in reducing heat stress risks. While PPE is essential for protecting against workplace hazards, improper garments can increase the effects of heat stress. Ill-fitting or non-breathable protective gear can hinder the body's ability to regulate temperature, trapping heat and increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses.
When shopping for PPE this summer, here are some things to look for in your garments:
- They are made with lightweight fabrics of about 6.5 oz or below, like the Pro Dry® Tech Long Sleeve (6.2 oz), Pro Dry® Tech Hoodie (6.2 oz), and Pro Dry® CAT 1 T-Shirt (5.4 oz)
- Ensures breathability.
- Wear lighter colors as they reflect sunlight, whereas darker colors absorb sunlight holding in heat like the Pro Dry® FR T-Shirt.
- Ensure your PPE wicks moisture away from the skin.
- Make sure your PPE fits comfortably but isn't too tight and provides stretch for unrestricted movement.
Our collection of certified PPE options provides an ideal balance between protection and comfort, ensuring superior moisture management and allowing heat to evaporate effectively. By investing in high-quality PPE that is designed to combat heat stress, workers can enhance their safety and well-being on the job.
Our collection of Pro Dry garments is designed for a soft next-to-skin feeling moving 30% more moisture away from your skin and dries two times faster than cotton, keeping you comfortable on long days on the line. This collection consists of two styles: the CAT 1 fabric used in our short sleeve shirts is made from an exclusive, inherent tri-blend material to create a jersey knit fabric for comfort, breathability, durability, moisture management, and Silver Plus™ anti-odor protection. The CAT 2 fabric is used in our long-sleeve shirts made from an inherent tri-fiber blend with para-aramid fibers for durability and FR protection. The double-knit fabric construction provides durability and breathability with NFPA 2112 certification.
- Pro Dry® FR T-Shirt
- Pro Dry® Long Sleeve Shirt
- Pro Dry® Long Sleeve Hi-Vis Yellow Shirt
- Pro Dry® Long Sleeve Hi-Vis Orange Shirt
Pro Dry® Tech
Our collection of Pro Dry® Tech garments is designed as a jersey-knit fabric similar to the Pro Dry collection with a soft next-to-skin feel for ultimate comfort. The five-fiber blend fabric technology provides a range of features unlike any other product on the market with UPF 50+ sun protection, wicking action for superior moisture management, built-in odor control with Silver Plus™, and 6.2 oz fabric construction. The best part is the Pro Dry® Tech Long Sleeve Shirt, and the Long Sleeve Shirt w/ Hood can be worn as a base or outer layer.