Summer Stress

Andy Bauer – Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator

Heat stress is a factor that we must all be aware of during the summer months. Working long hours during times of extreme heat and direct sun can be hard on your body. The body must get rid of excess heat to maintain a stable internal temperature. This is done mainly through circulating blood close to the skin and through sweating. When air temperature is close to or greater than normal body temperature cooling the body becomes more difficult. Sweating then becomes the body’s main way of cooling off, but is only effective if the humidity levels allow evaporation and fluids and salts that are lost are adequately replaced. If the body cannot get rid of excess heat then the core temperature increases causing the heart rate to increase. Here are some tips to follow during hot summer days:

  • Wear light colored, loose fitting cotton clothing
  • Try to schedule your workload around the cooler parts of the day
  •  Make sure tractor cabs are well vented and air filters are cleaned on a regular basis
  •  Make sure tractors with air-conditioning are checked on a regular basis and that their filters are also checked regularly
  •  Above all make sure you and your employees all stay well hydrated in hot weather and use sunscreen when working out in the hot sun
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar
  • Take regular water breaks and try to get out of the sun during breaks

Heat stress injuries can become serious medical issues if precautions are not taken. For more information contact the Ohio AgrAbility Program at or Andy Bauer at or (614) 247-7681.