As hot summer weather already has gripped much of the United States, farriers should be aware of how to keep cool and stay safe while working in the heat.

When there is a danger of suffering from heat related illnesses, weather forecasters will use terms such as excessive heat watch, heat advisory and excessive heat warning, according to the Red Cross. When these conditions are forecasted, farriers should be aware of how the heat can affect them and take extra caution while working outside.  

To avoid becoming ill from the heat, OSHA recommends drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning.

Safety And Health Magazine advises that while you are working outside you should drink two to four cups of water every hour, avoid drinks with high caffeine or sugar, and wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

If you begin to experience hot or dry skin, hallucinations, chills, headache, dizziness, weakness, high body temperature, and/or nausea, you could be experiencing heat stroke or exhaustion. If these symptoms occur, you should move to a shaded area and drink plenty of water. If you suspect you have heat stroke, call 911 immediately.heat stroke

Additionally, make sure horses are also being properly hydrated and work on them in a shaded area if available.

If it is possible, it is recommended to work (or do the most strenuous work) in the early morning or late afternoon/evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

While it is impossible to stop work completely during the heat due to the nature of farriery, there are precautions you can take to make sure you do not overheat and can remain healthy while working outside this summer.