Hot work dehydrates employees. A urine color chart can help workers monitor hydration by checking the shade of yellow. So says government agency NIOSH, the National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health.
NIOSH has a new study, the first in 30 years. They say, during hot work, use urine color charts. Workers in a hot environment should monitor their urine color. Pale yellow is normal, deep amber like is bad. The worker needs to hydrate.
The study found that judging urine color was very accurate. Just as reliable as running chemical tests such as checking specific gravity.
Urine charts can be used as a training tool to show color change between the urine of a well-hydrated worker and that of a dehydrated worker.
Diet, medications, vitamins and worker health can modify it the color of urine, so beware.
Not changed since 1986, NIOSH says the study came in response to the BP disaster — the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico — in 2010. It was clear an upgrade was needed to incorporate recent research on the effects of hot work.
Also in the new study:
• Heat stress makes psychological changes in a worker.
• Caffeine use amplifies heat stress.
• Heat stroke and associated symptoms are re-defined.
• Physiological monitoring and PPE. Worker can be monitored by personal protective equipment and clothing to control heat stress.
The study is titled “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments”. Download the full document — including the urine color chart — at this link.
The Safety Brief episode #204, Hot Work? You Need A Urine Color Chart, is a service of Creative Safety Supply.
Color chart graphic 2016 by NIOSH / CDC