Checklist: Resting and staying hydrated


Employers should provide the means for appropriate hydration of workers.

  • Water should be potable, less than 59°F, and made accessible near the work area.
  • Estimate how much water will be needed and decide who will obtain and check on water supplies.
  • Individual, not communal, drinking cups should be provided.
  • Encourage workers to hydrate.

Workers should drink an appropriate amount to stay hydrated.

  • If someone is in the heat more than 2 hours and is involved in moderate work activities, they should drink 1 cup (8 oz.) of water every 15–20 minutes.
  • During prolonged sweating lasting several hours, drink sports drinks containing balanced electrolytes.
  • Avoid alcohol and drinks with high caffeine or sugar.
  • Generally, fluid intake should not exceed 6 cups per hour.
  • Most people need several hours to drink enough fluids to replace what they have lost through sweat. The sooner someone gets started, the less strain they place on their body from dehydration.
  • Hydrating after work is even more important if a worker is in the heat on a regular basis. Chronic dehydration increases the risk for a number of medical conditions, such as kidney stones.

Rest breaks

Employers should ensure and encourage workers to take appropriate rest breaks to cool down and hydrate.

  • Permit rest and water breaks when a worker feels heat discomfort.
  • Modify work/rest periods to give the body a chance to get rid of excess heat.
  • Assign new and unacclimatized workers lighter work and longer, more frequent rest periods.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

By Ashleigh Petersen
Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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