Beware of heat stress, exhaustion

(courtesy Texas Farm Bureau)
(courtesy Texas Farm Bureau)

By Gene Hall

The week ahead in Texas could be the hottest of the year so far. Temperatures are forecast at near triple digits.

Extreme heat is perhaps the most dangerous risk on our farms and ranches.

In 2008, agriculture led all professions in heat deaths. There were nearly 26 for every 100,000 workers. Hundreds more were sickened.

Many farmers cannot stop work when temperatures are dangerous. There are, however, some prudent steps, farmers can take—starting with staying hydrated.

If the temperature is 102 degrees—not uncommon in Texas, a worker should consume a half pint of water every 30 minutes. At 106 degrees, the rate should be every 15 minutes.

Planning strenuous activities for mornings or after sunset is advisable when possible. Frequent water breaks and a few minutes of rest will help, too.

Heat exhaustion is serious, and a heat stroke should be considered a major medical event.

Army Work to Rest WBGT and water consumption table
Army Work to Rest WBGT and water consumption table

Heat is an old enemy of outdoor workers in Texas. Take steps to protect families and workers.

Click here for more information on heat safety tips on the farm.

The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.

You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.


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