Posts tagged hydration
Working outside on a hot day near oncoming traffic? This vest from Vinatronics might just be the perfect vest for you.
First of all, it’s a bright green/yellow ANSI Class 2 high visibility polyester safety vest with 3M™ Scotchlite™ silver reflective stripes. If you’re working near oncoming traffic, or anywhere that it’s a good idea to be easily seen, any light source (like a car’s headlights, for example) is going to light you up like a Christmas tree. If you’re wearing this hi vis vest, people are going to see you. And you know, if you’re working near traffic, you definitely want the drivers to be able to see you.
Second, it’s a Surveyor’s Vest, so it’s loaded with pockets – seven, to be exact, plenty of places to put your stuff. There’s a pocket for your cell phone, and even a huge zippered pocket across the small of the back where you can stick an entire clipboard.
But here’s where it gets really good. This vest is also Cooling Apparel. To keep you cool and help avoid heat stress, the vest has two large pockets that hold freezer gel packs called Ice Bricks. Put the Ice Bricks in the freezer overnight, then stick them back in their special designated pockets, and they will help to keep you cool all day.
With a Hydration Pack
And last, but certainly not least, this vest has a Camelbak® drinking water reservoir built into the back. Now it’s hot, so you’re going to get thirsty, right? So you carry your own drinking water in the Camelbak reservoir. Just fill up the leakproof 50-oz long neck reservoir and slide it into its pouch on the back of the vest. A long drinking tube runs from the Camelbak reservoir, up over your shoulder and down the front of the vest, where it’s handy to get to. So when you feel thirsty and need some water, just put the end of the drinking tube in your mouth, bite down on the special valve, and rehydrate with a long drink of water. Another good way to help avoid heat stroke.
Four Vests In One
So you can see what a versatile vest this is. It’s high visibility, so oncoming traffic can see you and avoid running you down. It’s loaded with pockets for storing your personal stuff. It’s got the freezer gel packs to help keep you cool on a hot day. And it’s got the drinking water reservoir so you can keep yourself hydrated. Oh, and one more thing. It’s made in the U.S.A. So like I said, if you’re working outside near oncoming traffic on a hot day, this is the vest for you! You can find it at eSafetyStore.com. Click here.
I was looking for cooling apparel, and I just came across a product that I think is really cool…no, I mean really cool. It’s called the CoolShirt®, and it’s designed to keep you cool when you’re in a seriously hot environment and heading for heat stroke. It’s a simple idea, really, but simple ideas are usually the best.
The CoolShirt people take almost 50’ of medical grade capillary tubing and sew it securely to the front and back of a shirt in kind of a looping pattern that ends up covering nearly 40% of the body. Then they take an insulated supply hose and attach one end to the tubing on the shirt and the other end to a cooler full of ice water. A pump in the cooler pumps the ice water through the supply hose and into the tubing on the shirt, where it circulates around and cools you off, maintaining a temperature of between 50°F and 65°F. The system connects to any standard 110V outlet, or it can run off a 12V battery.
Since cool water transfers body heat 28 times faster than cool air alone, results come fast. As soon as that ice water starts flowing through the shirt, you’re going to cool down quickly.
There’s different ways you can use the CoolShirt. Since they’re so comfortable, you can wear one all day, stay hooked up to the cooler and stay cool. Or, if that’s inconvenient, you can set up the system in some nearby shade, come over on your break, plug your CoolShirt in and sit there and cool off for a while, then go back to work.
The people who make the CoolShirt have a lot of different CoolShirts you can buy, and different systems as well. They have a multi-person system that can cool up to six people at once, great for construction crews! They have portable systems where you carry the cold water around with you in either a small bottle, a larger water bag, a waist pack, or even a back pack, so you don’t have to be hooked up to the supply hose. They have CoolShirts that are flame-resistant. They even have Cool Pants!
Heat stress and heat stroke are nothing to mess with. Heat stroke can kill you. So if you find yourself working under really hot conditions, like maybe in a steel mill, or in a foundry, or just out in direct sunlight on a hot, humid day, don’t take any chances. Try out the CoolShirt system. It will help you maintain a safe core body temperature, and you’ll live to work another day.
Working in hot environments can lead to dehydration and heat stress. Neither of these is a good thing. Heat stress prevention is a multi-faceted beast. But I’m going to start by addressing hydration.
Sweating in the searing sun quickly drains workers of valuable water and electrolytes. The obvious question now is, “What exactly are electrolytes?”
Electrolytes are what the cells in your body use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. (Complex definition courtesy of Discovery Health.) Potassium and sodium are two of the electrolyte biggies that are lost during exertion in hot conditions.
The good news is that electrolytes are easily replaced by drinking (the cleverly named) electrolyte beverages. We at eSafetyStore are familiar with three of the bigger brands of these rehydrating marvels, and they’re all slightly different from each other.
Gatorade is the big name in the electrolyte biz. Gatorade has the iconic logo, was endorsed by Michael Jordan, and invented the Gatorade bath, the ritual required by football teams after a significant win. Standard Gatorade is effective stuff and an 8-ounce serving contains 110mg of sodium, 30mg of potassium, and roughly 50 calories.
Sqwincher is another good choice for workplace hydration, but not quite as well known. An 8-ounce serving of Sqwincher contains roughly 47mg of sodium, 53mg of potassium, and 65 calories.
Our latest addition to the electrolyte beverage mix is All Sport. This sports drink has the added benefit of having 40% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C (in an 8-ounce serving size). All Sport 8-ounce servings also have 55mg of sodium, 60mg of potassium, and 60 calories.
So many choices. Workers who want lower sodium options should choose between Sqwincher and All Sport. And if Vitamin C is your thing, All Sport is the only choice. Watching your sugar? Go for Gatorade. (Incidentally, all of these brands offer a sugar free electrolyte beverage option). Want to douse your foreman in Riptide Rush after finishing a big project? Gatorade.
Really, the biggest deciding factor when picking electrolyte beverages for workers is taste. So, order all three, try them side by side and make your decision from there. Plenty of electrolytes and good old fashioned water will help keep workers hydrated and healthy.