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Staying Cool in the Heat, Safety Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

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For most of the country, the warmest days occur sometime between mid-July and Mid-August, but heat exhaustion can happen any time when working out in the sun. With the rising heat index, crewmembers and others who work outside are encouraged to change their work habits when the “heat is on.”

Extreme heat is defined as summertime temperatures that are much hotter and/or humid than average. At the end of July and all of August, in many parts of the country, the scorching heat sees high temperatures and humidity numbers. Because of the hot temperatures, heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are a potential risk and can happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself.

CDC poster: “Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness”

Some warning signs of heat-related illness to look out for are:

  • High body temperature (103° or higher).
  • Hot, red, dry or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse (heat stroke) or fast, weak pulse (heat exhaustion)
  • Headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or losing concentration (passing out)
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale or clammy skin

(These were pulled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Visit their website for more information.)

At Axis, we take a proactive approach to managing these drastic changes in temperatures outside and have to adjust our work activity to the environmental conditions.  We have regular safety meetings and tell our crewmembers on the rigs what we expect of them when it gets too hot:

  • Drink plenty of fluids; implement crew rotations requiring crewmembers to drink one glass of water every 60 minutes
  • Do not allow caffeine drinks on location, such as sodas and energy drinks
  • Implement shorter, more frequent breaks—drink more water and eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Set up a pop-up canopy on the side of a crew trailer
  • Partner up when doing tasks
  • Stop working at the first sign of fatigue (headaches, cramping, darker color urine, stopped urinating or sweating), and then go cool off at a designated cooling spot.

When a heat warning or advisory is in effect for a particular area or region where our crews are working, a member of the Axis Executive Leadership team or the CEO will send out an electronic message to the crews on the rigs to remind them to work safe and hydrate often. Axis utilizes its CORE system message dashboard to push important weather-related messages out to the crews on the rigs via their field monitor, in real time, as a live tool to inform them in case of a heat advisory or other weather-related event in their area.

“We get up every morning to do one thing: to be able to provide for our families,” says Dirk Lee, Axis CEO. “We write procedures and policies for a reason, so please take your time out there. I know it’s hot outside, but make sure you’re taking plenty of breaks when you need to, take your time to do the job right and keep yourself safe, and drink plenty of fluids.”

Our motto of “One Team, One Goal” pertains not only to getting the job done, but getting it done safely as a team. Thank you to our crews who are committed to safety and health!

The Axis CORE rig data display and field monitor ensure all relevant information is available to the rig operator for rig use, including critical weather-related messages such as heat advisories.
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