How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion in the Oilfield

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If you’re working on location, day in and day out, sweating through the high summer temperatures and not getting enough water – RigUp has one question for you:

What are YOU doing to stay hydrated and safe?

Safety is always a number one priority when working in the field. Without knowing how to prevent dangerous situations or how to recognize symptoms, your work zone can quickly become hazardous.

To avoid certain accidents, here are several tips and tricks to make sure you can get back to work producing that sweet, sweet crude.

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Because you are often working tirelessly in the heat, your body can have a difficult time cooling itself off. Your body produces sweat as a means to keep your body temperature down, but when it is unable to produce enough sweat, you can be at risk for heat exhaustion. Extreme heat exhaustion can threaten your life.

Symptoms:

Dizziness

Lightheaded

Chills

Headaches

Low blood pressure

Faintness

Prevention:

Drink water BEFORE, DURING and AFTER work. Keep your body running effectively by drinking water, drinking water, and drinking even more water.

A great measure of preventing an accident for everyone on location comes from Wes Higgins, an HSE Professional, at Parsley Energy Inc.,

“We are our brother’s keeper. Watch out for your buddy, and your buddy will watch out for you.”

Higgins recommends to apply this manta across the board. Whether the goal is to prevent heat exhaustion or another type of incident, we need to look out for one another. At the end of the day, your co-workers may see something you miss. “It’s the old guy looking out for the new guy and the new guy looking out for the old guy that makes things work in the field.”

It is crucial to replenish the fluids within your body as well as taking breaks in the shade. This allows your body to naturally cool down, get out of the sun, and recover from overheating.

If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

A good way to check how hydrated or dehydrated you are is by looking at your urine. The color of urine is an excellent indicator of how much fluid is in your body. Clear urine is a sign of hydration and health. Yellow urine is adequate but an indicator that you might be dehydrated. Those with dark yellow or brown urine should consult with a medical professional. Try to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and energy drinks during the work week since this adds to dehydration. Instead, make sure to eat a filling meal at night and including an apple to your morning for energy.

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Treatment:

If you suspect heat exhaustion, the easiest solution is getting to a cool place as quickly as possible. This includes indoors (preferably with air conditioning), a shady spot, or at the very least in front of a fan.

Rehydrate your body with plenty of ice water and electrolytes. You can find electrolytes in sports drinks such as Gatorade, in small packets to mix with water, or even in fruits and vegetables.

According to Medical News Today, electrolytes “regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, balance blood acidity and pressure, and help rebuild damaged tissue,” all of which are crucial functions to someone working on the field.

Before work, prepare for the day with ice packs to keep drinks cool and use on your neck, back and armpits. During the workday, soaking a bandana in cool water is an easy technique to keep your forehead and neck moist while working.  At the end of the workday, you can cool down easily by taking a cold shower. This immerses your body and immediately lowers body temperature.

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The most important piece of the safety equation is people.”

– Oil and Gas Journal

Takeaways:

  • Consistently drink water before you start your day, throughout the day, and at the end of the day.
  • Replenish and hydrate your body with electrolytes
  • Stay cool in the shade or inside to allow your body to recover
  • Ice packs and wet bandanas are preventative measures to lower body temperature on the job.
  • Look out for your buddy and watch over one another

Do you know someone who needs to drink more water? Share the blog with #rigup and follow us on Facebook @rigup or Instagram @rigup_inc !

You may even win a prize and who doesn’t love a free hat or t-shirt?

Spread the love and stay hydrated!

User Feedback Can Come from Anywhere

 

Enterprise software often forgets about the importance of listening to the user.

If you’ve ever worked at a large company, you can understand the frustration of being forced to use software that wasn’t designed with you in mind. I strive to challenge the myth that oil & gas software has to be a dreadful experience. But as a design team of one (for now), I have to balance the need for thorough user feedback with the need to iterate quickly and constantly.

I can’t do it alone – which is why our user feedback isn’t sourced from one team. Although every team comes with their own set of biases, they also each bring unique insight to our users that I can learn from.

For example, the customer success team represents the direct line to our users. They ensure our users are happy by addressing any issues that might arise.User Feedback GraphicSometimes we get feature requests for features that already exist. Questions begin reeling in my head –

  • Why was the user unable to navigate to this feature?
  • Did we educate the user on the existence of this feature?
  • Is the copy used appropriate? Is an industry term needed here?
  • Was the UI not apparent enough? Is it hidden in a dropdown? Does it need to be visible on load?
  • Does the feature we thought addressed this request actually address the underlying issue for the user?

From here, I can begin addressing the issue in my next design iterations.

Join Our Team
If you believe in the importance of user feedback in enterprise design, then you’d probably be a good fit for our team. We are always looking for team members to help us transform oil and gas into a safer and more efficient industry.