Hydration is a Key Component to Safety, Productivity. Are Your Employees Getting Enough?

  • Published 11.11.22
  • Solutions
    • First Aid & Safety
Making sure your employees drink enough water can help protect (and promote) their physical and mental wellness.

When we talk about employee health and safety, your mind may go to important basics like a fully stocked first aid kit, working smoke detectors and an emergency plan ready to go. But what about hydration?

The American Academy of Family Physicians agrees. “Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health.”

One of the clearest benefits of regular water breaks is that it helps reduce the risk of a heat emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that employees working in the heat drink one 8-ounce cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s not just workers out in the sun who need regular water breaks. Working indoors and simply not drinking enough water can lead to hydration issues too. Scientists have closely studied the benefits of proper hydration – and the negative impact of not getting enough water.

One study in The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing found that regular reminders helped workers drink more water. That, in turn, led to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings among participants, as well as improved lower limb muscle performance and a stronger emphasis on self-care.

Researchers in the study concluded, “The health-promoting effects of the water intake wellness intervention were akin to the butterfly effect. Besides significantly increasing water intake, the intervention improved other health behaviors, thereby benefiting physical and mental health. Hence, promoting water consumption in workplaces till it becomes a habit may benefit the employees.”

It's also important to note that employees can experience negative side effects from being just mildly dehydrated (losing just 1 to 2% of your body weight in water). Research indicates that mild dehydration can cause:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Problems with working memory
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Low energy levels

Fortunately, these signs of mild dehydration can be quickly reversed (and prevented) by making clean, safe drinking water accessible to employees – and encouraging them to drink up.

OSHA does require all employers to provide enough drinking water to meet the needs of individual employees. While clean tap water can fill that requirement, it’s not always the best solution. Faucets may not be near workspaces. Instead, water coolers placed around the office allow employees to fill reusable water bottles with clean, fresh water.

Here are a few other benefits of providing a water cooler for drinking water, and tips to keep in mind when you look for the right water cooler solutions for your space:

Keep your focus where it matters.

You can arrange a schedule for a reliable water cooler partner to refill, service and clean water coolers – allowing you to focus more time where it’s needed in your business.

Find a service that meets your team’s needs – and your office space.

Newer water coolers eliminate the need for heavy, bulky water jugs. Sleek designs also help reduce the risk of trip or fall hazards from empty jugs left between deliveries. Choose between countertop or floor models to find the space-saving option that works best for your team and your facility. The WaterBreak® Countertop model is less than 17 inches tall, making it an easy fit under most kitchen cabinets. The WaterBreak Premium model is a sleek option for spaces that require a floor model.

Clean, safe water at employees’ fingertips.

Regularly serviced water coolers ensure your employees have access to clean water. Some features, like a no-drip tray and regularly scheduled filter changes, can also help improve the safety of your team’s water supply.

Support sustainability.

With water coolers, you add another way to support your business’ sustainability efforts. Eliminate the waste and clutter of disposable water bottles.

Enjoy added cost savings.

Look for a water cooler program that charges one flat fee, no matter how much water your team drinks. A predictable bill helps you maintain a more solid bottom line.

Hot, cold, even with electrolytes. 

Your team can enjoy the option to select the water temperature that best suits their needs. Hot water for a comforting mug of tea, cold water for a refreshing sip on a hot day, and even room temperature. Some companies also offer packets of electrolytes to add to water coolers for an added hydration boost.

Helping your employees stay hydrated and feel refreshed can go a long way in improving productivity and their overall physical and mental health. Make hydration a priority in your workplace and help your employees feel Ready™ to tackle the workday.

Innovative water cooler lines like WaterBreak put the emphasis on both convenience and comfort, with space-saving countertop and floor models, options for hot, cold or room temp water on demand, and even monthly flat billing no matter how much water your team needs. To learn more about water cooler services for your facility, contact Cintas First Aid & Safety today.