Learn symptoms of heat illness and how to treat or avoid it

When the temperature rises, your body and car have a lot in common: If you push either one too hard, they can overheat! This safety edition of the BCN HR Blog discusses how you can avoid heat illness, recognize its symptoms, and how to treat it whether on the job, working in the yard, or even relaxing by a pool or lake:

Follow the suggestions below and learn how to stay cool in hot weather:

  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing and a hat.
  • Adapt to hot conditions gradually and avoid overexerting yourself during peak temperature periods.
  • Drink water frequently—at least eight ounces every 20 to 30 minutes. Stay away from liquids containing caffeine; they tend to increase urination, which causes rapid depletion of body liquids.

The signs and symptoms of heat illness

Watch out for these signs:

  • Heat Cramps – severe muscle spasms in the back, stomach, arms, and legs, which are attributed to the loss of body salt and water during periods of heavy perspiration.
  • Heat Exhaustion – heavy sweating, cool or pale skin, nausea, headache, weakness, vomiting, and fast pulse.
  • Heat Stroke – high body temperature, no sweating, red and often dry skin, rapid breathing and pulse, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, confusion, or unconsciousness.

First-aid suggestions for employees

Treating heat illness as soon as possible is very important. Follow these suggestions:

  • Heat Cramps – move to a cooler area and allow the person to drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Exhaustion – move  to a cooler area and keep the person lying down with their legs slightly elevated. Cool their body by fanning and applying cool, wet towels, and allow a conscious victim to drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Stroke – instruct a bystander (if present) to call an ambulance. Meanwhile, move the person to a cooler area, remove outer clothing, immersing the person in cool water or apply cool, wet towels or cloths to the body. Do NOT give liquid, and treat for shock until professional help arrives. Heat stroke is life-threatening, so move fast!

Safety Reminder for all

The risk of heat illness increases with age, poor diet, being overweight, insufficient liquid intake, poor physical condition, and/or when taking medication. Never take salt tablets without your doctor’s approval.

Do you need help or safety materials for your workplace? Contact us for assistance.


Patrick Boeheim, Risk Manager

7 Great Tips to Marketing in a Social Networking Age:

The world we live in is constantly changing, and how people access information is changing even faster.

People now access information on computers, tablets and phones in bite-sized chunks. And businesses need to develop content with these new media preferences and consumption platforms in mind.

Here are seven tips to creating this type of content:

  1. Simple. Using big words and unintelligible acronyms only confuses people, so don’t try to be too clever and leave your audience behind. One-syllable words can be much more effective than those of three or four.
  2. Headlines. Seconds count when reaching people on the Web, so grab attention—with the headline to ensure readers will want to view or read the rest. Google searches bring up the headline and then the description, so don’t neglect the description either. This also applies to videos, images, and tweets.
  3. Structure. Use short paragraphs of two to three sentences and subtitles to draw readers in—avoid walls of text. Keep it “snack size” and use bullet points and lists.
  4. Conversational. Writing, as well as society, is moving from formal to informal. Write the way you speak-conversational writing is seen as authentic and real.
  5. Stories. Telling a story touches readers’ emotions and remember that a story in the introduction can be very effective.
  6. Multi-media. Because everyone has different media preferences, create your content and develop it into a variety of media. You can repurpose an article into a video, slide presentation, podcast, transcript, or info graphic. This will help you reach a wider audience.
  7. Responsive. Make your content adaptable to the different screen sizes for computers, tablets, and phones. Use templates that “respond” so people can easily view or read your content no matter the device.

BCN Services is working to develop both sales and service content that is easily accessed and available to fit today’s appetite for bite sized content.  Hopefully, you can apply some or all of these tips to improve your company’s marketing efforts.  If we can help, contact us here.

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Boomers and employees of all ages benefit from solid technology training

Are older workers resistant to using technology tools to do their jobs?  Do they not want to learn something new?  Is the adage about old dogs and new tricks true?

It’s easy to blame older workers’ unwillingness to learn new things when they don’t use the technology you invested in, but that may not be the cause of the problem.  Make sure they’ve been effectively trained, know why the new approach is needed and how they will personally benefit from using the new tool.  This is true for everyone, not just your older workers.

Consider this about Baby Boomers:  They are the second largest group of bloggers (after moms).  Two out of three of them take photos with their cell phones.  Sixty percent of them text.  They’ve invaded Facebook, Twitter, Skype and YouTube.   It’s not that they can’t learn how to do things on the computer. The work place problem could stem from ineffective instruction, poor communication about the relevant goals, and/or the failure to tie the change to personal effectiveness.

Consider these things when  trying to teach new technology to employees, regardless of their age:

Are you using the right instructor?

When there is a failure to learn, look at the quality of the teacher. Most often, IT resources are the ones who design and offer the training needed to learn new hardware and software applications. Unless your company is remarkably unique, these people are probably not even speaking the same language as some of your workers. Those who are comfortable with computers tend to rattle off jargon and terms in quick succession, “demonstrate” with a series of rapid key strokes, and assume everybody gets it. That is not teaching. It’s geeks sharing with geeks. If you’re not a geek, you have no idea what just happened.

Those who didn’t use computers during their formative years may need a different training approach than those who did.  Offer the class in a way they can understand.  You need a trainer who understands that students learn in different ways and who creates examples, analogies, and practice exercises that are class specific.

Clearly explain the reason for the change

Don’t jump into implementation without effectively explaining why it’s needed to those who have to live with it. Talk about why the company needs this change, how important it is for everyone to make the change, and what you are doing to help people understand and use the new technology so employees don’t make wrong assumptions. Make these employees partners and they are more likely to step up to the challenge. (Conversely, “do it because I said so” stops working with most people before they are out of elementary school.) Debunk the falsehoods coming out of the rumor mill at the same time. And do all of this before training so they are ready to learn.

Tie the change to improved personal effectiveness

There’s an old saying in training: “They gotta wanna.” The first piece of any successful training effort-is helping trainees see the value of performing differently themselves. This isn’t a case of telling someone to learn it “or else.” And it’s not usually a case of “you can make more money if you learn this.”

When you need employees to learn new technology, focus on the fact that their contribution is valuable and needs to be fully integrated with what the rest of the company is doing. Virtually every tech improvement is meant to achieve better integration in some way.

Most people want to be good at what they do. Helping them understand that their work becomes more valuable if they use the new system increases the value of the change in personal terms.

For more about training and other human resources help, contact the experts at BCN Services by calling 1-800-891-9911 or contact us here.




Sue Kester, HR Manager