Stay Safe Amid Another Heatwave
Record-setting temperatures push need for heat-illness precautions for second consecutive summer.
The last three weeks have been the hottest on record around the globe, according to ABC News. The National Weather Service issued heat alerts on Monday for nearly 40 million Americans across at least a dozen states, while the latest forecast shows temperatures will continue to linger and intensify this week.
Amidst intense heatwaves, it’s crucial that employers and employees alike remain vigilant on the effects of heat illness, as well as methods to prevent it.
NPR reports that of all extreme weather conditions, heat kills more people than hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods combined each year in the U.S.
The are many dangerous effects to the body that can occur in tandem with heat illness, including organ failure caused by heatstroke, cardiovascular collapse, and fluid loss leading to kidney failure.
To prevent these effects, be sure to watch for the first signs of mild heat exhaustion: headaches, dizziness, lethargy, and feeling unwell in general. Muscle cramping may also be an early sign of heat-related illness.
Moreover, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend limiting your outdoor activity—especially midday when the sun is hottest, pacing yourself by starting activities slowly and picking up the pace gradually, drinking more water than usual and not waiting until you’re thirsty to drink more, and wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
Though the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have standard regulations for heat-illness prevention, it is developing a potential standard for workplaces in which it would have jurisdiction to prevent heat illness and injury in outdoor and indoor environments, including the construction, maritime, and agriculture industries.
To accomplish this, the department is asking small business owners and representatives from local government entities to participate in a series of discussions on the potential impacts of a workplace heat standard on small businesses.
How to Sustain Pools for Seasonal Transition
Despite the current heat, much of the summer season is already in the rearview. As hotels approach the offseason, now is a good time to think about getting ready for the transition, to ensure that water functions and repairs are properly addressed.
Hotel Management suggests a few major bases to cover as the hospitality industry prepares for cooler weather in the months ahead:
Repeated Expansion and Contraction Causes Cracks to Grow
Cracks are a magnet for mold and mildew in warmer areas and for freezing in colder climates. Once moisture gets in, it has a hard time getting out. Check the walls and floors of pools and tanks for signs of cracking or other imperfections. Pipe connections are also a common source of cracks and leaks. For pools that feature acrylic walls, closely inspect sealant at the joints for signs of damage that could cause or have started to leak.
Keep Filters and Filter Baskets Free of Debris
With falling leaves and wintery winds, or heavy rainfall and seasonal floods, it might take extra effort to keep pool areas free of debris. Inspect pump and filter equipment for any signs of leaks or damage and make sure they’re operating optimally to take care of the extra burden of fall when it arrives.
This is a good time to test systems. Check and test timers to make sure they are still accurate. If pools, tanks, or outdoor areas are closing, ensure breakers, pool lights, and time clocks are turned off. Remember to inspect all covers to ensure they have not suffered any damage.
Adjust the Chemical Balance for Increased Use or Winterization
Chlorine can break down under the sun’s powerful UV rays, so be ready to adapt. Test to check total dissolved solid and cyanuric acid levels. Wait until temperatures are cooler to do this to reduce the risk of excessive evaporation and damage to surfaces from sun and heat.
Watch Water Levels
Never drain a pool completely for winter; this can damage the walls and liner and could cause cracking. Water should only be drained to below the skimmer to prevent water from entering the pool equipment, freezing, and causing damage. Conversely, as the weather gets hotter, watch for excessive evaporation and damage to surfaces from sun and heat.
Check for Clarity
If pools and water features incorporate acrylic viewing windows and design elements, assess the acrylic for clarity and have them professionally polished to highlight their aesthetic appeal. This can be done when the pool or tank is emptied for maintenance or underwater while it’s still full.