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Stay hydrated

Workplace strategies that support healthy hydration go beyond just telling employees to drink more water.

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Healthy hydration is a win-win for employers and employees. Water keeps our joints and muscles lubricated, which helps prevent strains and sprains. Not drinking enough water contributes to "presenteeism" (being physically present but not mentally engaged), which can cause costly errors and workplace injuries.

Workplace strategies that support healthy hydration go beyond just telling employees to drink more water. Here's what has worked well at other organizations:

Adjust the work environment

Install air conditioning or other cooling systems for employees working in hot areas, or consider adding a cooling room or portable fogger fans. Offer shaded areas for outdoor work.

Make cool, clean water available at every worksite, and encourage frequent water breaks

Install fast-fill water stations in easily accessible locations. During meetings or events, provide water as an alternative to coffee or sugary beverages, which can contribute to dehydration. Consider removing coffee and energy drinks from vending machines.

Change work schedules, so employees work during cooler times of the day

Rotate jobs to limit exposure to high temperature or strenuous work environments  check out the links at the bottom to learn more.

Educate workers and supervisors

Educate on the importance of hydration and signs of heat stress so they can self-monitor and respond as needed.

Offer cooling vests or neck wraps

Branded water bottles printed with hydration information are another great giveaway. Your employees work in the environment every day. Ask them what solutions they have for staying hydrated.

Signs that hydration may be an issue at your workplace:

  • Excessively warm temperatures
  • Water allowed only on breaks
  • Heavy or strenuous work
  • Heavy clothing, gear, or personal protective equipment
  • Lots of coffee or energy drinks
  • Variable shifts
  • Frequent headaches
  • Difficulty solving problems

For more on this topic, visit saif.com/twh.

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