Heat Stress

When it comes to heat stress or employee fatigue, two factors are commonly seen throughout the pipelining industry, especially this time of year. Typically, employees in routine hot environments find themselves subject to heat stress problems more often than those with less severe duties. In environments where an employee is continually subjected to extreme temperatures, that individual is more likely to experience a reduction in work performance or possibly encounter bodily reactions related to heat stress. Heat Stress takes a toll on you. Whether it is poor work performance, an injury or fatality, the fact is, if heat stress isn’t recognized and managed properly, it will cost both the employer and employee significantly, through loss of staff and or loss of revenue.

The best recommendation for handling heat stress is to combat the problem through proper hydration practices coupled with a well-balanced diet and many other common-sense methods.


One of the most important steps is proper hydration. In order to combat the effects of heat, the body perspires, releasing essential moisture to cool the skin. Sweat acts as a built-in cooling system for the body. Once perspiration begins, the effects of dehydration have already started. A dehydrated body pulls water and minerals from many locations inside the body to compensate for a lack of vital elements elsewhere. It is essential to keep the intake of fluids equal to the amount being released through perspiration or urination throughout the day. An important step to remember is to begin hydrating the body before dehydration starts. This means encouraging employees to start each day by consuming a regiment of fluids designed with the sole purpose of keeping the body’s hydration and electrolyte balance stabilized.

A common misconception is that water is the complete solution for hydration. However, when a person perspires, not only is water depleted from the cellular composition, essential mineral salts and electrolytes are depleted as well, which are necessary in keeping the body safely balanced throughout a rigorous workday. Electrolyte replacement drinks such as Sqwincher or Gatorade are specifically formulated to promote continuous consumption and prevent muscle cramps by providing essential carbohydrates and minerals for quick body stabilization. These type beverages are absorbed significantly faster than water alone, allowing the body to replenish electrolytes and minerals needed for proper rehydration.


Another influential factor in coping with heat stress is a proper diet. The metabolic rate of an individual can add 10 to 100 times more heat to the body than radiation and convection combined. Employees who are exposed to heat should avoid eating heavy or fatty meals during working hours. A person can lose as much as six quarts of fluid daily through perspiration or urination. Your health is important to us and we are encouraging you to drink a balanced rotation of water and electrolyte replacement drinks throughout the day. Workers who drink more fluids during work are less likely to eat heavy meals due to a smaller appetite. However, liquids should not take place of proper eating habits. A well-balanced diet is key to the body’s ability to combat other illnesses as well as heat stress. An effective electrolyte replacement drink is the right solution. Electrolyte beverages such as Sqwincher or Gatorade are designed with specific functions for workers that are losing fluids throughout the day and causing a drastic reduction in the body fluids and electrolyte imbalance. This practice will help you maintain alertness and reduce accidents and your productivity is increased through a balanced energy source from an effective electrolyte replacement solution.

Other IMPORTANT Worker Safety Practices:

  • Arrive at work “Fit For Duty”
  • Participate in assigned Heat-related annual training (Click for LMS Heat Stress Course)
  • Complete First Aid/CPR training. Be knowledgeable and trained to assist if needed.
  • “Be your brother’s keeper”, and monitor those around you during work activities for heat-related symptoms. Get to know your co-workers and their habits. Be certain to keep them informed of the dangers associated with heat stress in your workplace. Becoming aware of the danger signs and a well-managed safety program are key to safely maintaining heat stress.
  • Hydrate!  Stay hydrated daily.  Drink water and or electrolyte drinks to help maintain hydration. (Ex. Liquid IV, Drip Drops, or Gatorade as an example).
  • When possible, wear loose lightweight clothing. Wear hats and other clothing that will protect you from damaging UV exposure. Use personal protective clothing and cooling devices designed to protect against heat and exposure.
  • Apply sunscreen to protect against skin burns.
  • Take frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas.

Please refer to the attached First Aid for Heat Illness document and other resources to be prepared to assist someone who may be experiencing a heat-related illness.  Read more about the OSHA proposed heat rule.

Please be sure to submit your Near-Misses by June 28th at 5 PM CST for a chance to win prizes!  If you have previously won any prizes and would like to share photos, feel free to send us an email with the photos.

May Winners have been selected!  Congratulations Roger Frazier, Gina StaplesLassiter, and Cody Lowery!  You should be receiving an email soon for you to choose your prize.

Employee of the Month

Gina StaplesLassiter has been selected as our Safety Employee of the Month. We wanted to thank Gina for always putting safety first and dedication to making Cleveland Integrity #1.

Why is Safety so important to you?      
Gina: Safety is the most important thing I do every day. In our industry, all of us must be safety leaders. The work we do by its nature is hazardous. It is very important to people, the environment, our customer's assets, and the economy to ensure every task has been evaluated for risk and that risk mitigated. It's really simple, do it safely or don't do it at all.

Why do you think submitting near-miss reports is important?
Gina: Reporting Near Miss incidents is a communication tool we can all use to help each other fight complacency. After working in this industry for 24+ years, I've heard a lot of people say things like "We've always done it this way" or "I didn't think that would happen".  Near Miss reporting is like a "freebie" to learn from. Sharing that "freebie" is just spreading the knowledge which makes our team stronger and safer.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered up with Boot Barn to offer all Cleveland Integrity Services inspectors a 15% discount on all purchases “work related” from the Boot Barn, Nation Wide. If in store, be sure to tell them you work for Cleveland Integrity Services and use the key word: “Safety First” to receive the discount. For online purchases, click the link above or below, click on the Eagle Infrastructure photo link and enter the login code “eagle2023” when prompted.

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