Employers often provide hydration stations in the summer to encourage their workers to keep drinking. However, hydration is just as important in cold weather as it is in hot weather. In some cases, dehydration can be an even greater danger while working outside in the cold.
Hydration stations are places where workers can refill their water bottles or get a quick cup of water. Knowing the reasons why you should offer hydration stations in the winter can help you prioritize your employees’ health and limit dehydration and related illnesses.
Why hydration stations are just as crucial in the winter
Dehydration can be a major cold weather injury, leading to fatigue, illness and loss of productivity. Just a 1% drop in workers’ hydration can lead to a 12% drop in worker productivity, no matter the weather.
Since cold weather can mask many symptoms of dehydration, it can be even more important to encourage employees to utilize hydration stations. The following reasons explain why hydration is just as crucial in the winter as it is in the summer months:
- Workers are less likely to notice that they are dehydrated in the cold.
Heat-related illnesses alert your body of dehydration. Feeling overheated is usually a sign to step into the shade and drink cool water. In the cold weather, however, exposure to cold air can reduce the body’s thirst sensation by up to 40%. As a result, employees may perform physically demanding jobs without feeling thirsty, leading them to drink less water. However, they still need water to properly function. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, fatigue and nausea throughout the day. Hydration stations can serve as reminders to workers and encourage them to take hydration breaks, during both intensive and non-intensive work.
- Workers sweat just as much in the cold.
While it may not feel like it, you sweat just as much in the cold weather. The only difference is that the dry winter air quickly wicks away sweat so that it doesn’t sit on your skin for long. In other words, employees are losing just as much fluid as they would when working outdoors in the sun. It’s important that these fluids be replaced to reduce their risk of dehydration. Hydration stations encourage workers to replace their lost fluids throughout the workday.
- The air is drier.
It is important to remember that there is usually less humidity in cold air. This means that there is less of a chance for your skin to absorb moisture in the environment. The winter’s dry air can crack skin and irritate the lungs. The use of hydration stations can reintroduce moisture into the body so that workers protect themselves from dry air difficulties.
Work-Fit can help you optimize hydration stations in your workplace
Do you need help encouraging your workers to use hydration stations while they work? Our team of professionals at Work-Fit can help. Contact our team today for more information about our services or to learn how we can help keep your employees hydrated in cold weather.