Dehydration and Worker Safety

Dehydration poses a real risk to workers engaged in physically demanding labor in industries like construction, manufacturing, farming, firefighting, emergency response, transportation, and many more. For these workers dehydration means more than a mere headache. Dizziness and muscle cramps, to name just two of the symptoms of dehydration, can lead to workplace accidents and lost wages. And with nearly one in ten Americans working in a physically demanding field, these aren’t insubstantial dangers. 

Even Mild Dehydration Can Be Dangerous

To get an idea of the severity of dehydration’s hazards for these workers, consider that mild dehydration of just 1% (fluid loss equal to 1% of body weight) has been shown to decrease a worker’s productivity by 12%. This same level of dehydration has also been shown to impede a worker’s reaction times as much as a blood alcohol level of 0.08, which makes someone five times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident. What’s more, this level of dehydration only triggers mild thirst, so a worker at this stage of deficit may very well be unaware there’s even anything to worry about.

Not surprisingly, the greater the dehydration, the more serious the negative effects on performance and productivity. One study found that subjects with a 3% dehydration level fainted more quickly when moving from a seated position to standing. At 4% dehydration, reaction times of subjects studied decreased a whopping 23%. Dehydration also has been found to take its toll on workers’ ability to concentrate, solve problems properly, and focus even on repetitive tasks. Put a dehydrated individual at the controls of heavy equipment, military hardware, or a motor vehicle, and the hazards can be serious indeed.

Dehydrated Before You Know It

Another contributing factor to dehydration at physically demanding professions is that it can sneak up fast, especially in hot conditions. 

Preventing and treating mild or moderate dehydration on the job can mean reducing accidents, maintaining optimal productivity, and avoiding sick time and trips to medical facilities. And the solution is as simple as an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. 

DripDrop ORS treats and prevents dehydration faster and more effectively than water or sports drinks, and oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS have been proven to be a practical alternative to IV therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate dehydration. No trips to the clinic or hospital. No needles. No need to miss work or lose productivity. That’s one powerful labor-saving solution.

 

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