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    Avoiding Heat Exhaustion

    Warm weather can be dangerous for people who spend their summer days working in the sun.

    That includes workers in mulch yards, where the sun is often blazing and airflow can be poor — leading to stifling conditions. However, if employees are aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, as well as methods of prevention, they can reduce the chances of falling victim.

    Symptoms and causes:

    • Early signs include confusion, dizziness, flushed skin or excessive sweating.
    • High piles can minimize airflow and cut off the wind, elevating the risk of heat exhaustion at mulch yards.
    • Darker-colored mulches trap more heat.

    Preventive measures:

    • Take frequent breaks — a good rule of thumb is a 5- to 10-minute break after each hour of work.
    • Wear loose-fitting clothing, breathable fabric and a hat.
    • Be conscious of co-workers and their ability to handle the heat. If you notice symptoms, take the initiative to recommend a break and find a cool location.