Summer provides contracting companies with great weather to complete many outdoor jobs but it also can be really hard on workers. Excessive heat and sun exposure can be dangerous and cause sunburn, dehydration, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Below are some great tips to make sure you and your staff are safe during hot working conditions.
- Drink water. This sounds like a no-brainer but if you’re working outside in high temperatures, you should be drinking enough water throughout the day to make sure you never become thirsty.
- Dress appropriately. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting breathable clothing made from cotton if possible. Wearing safety classes with UV protection and brimmed hardhats will decrease exposure to your head and neck area.
- Work smart. Attempt to do your most strenuous work during the coolest part of the day.
- Take breaks. Break more frequently and use cooling fans whenever possible.
- Eat accordingly. Food higher in fat and preservatives will put a high caloric load on your digestive system. Try to eat a bigger breakfast and a light lunch that includes vegetables, fruits and salads.
- Know what to look for. The early symptoms of heat exhaustion include lethargy, disorientation, stumbling, dropping tools, slurred speech or unresponsiveness. Keep an eye on your coworkers for these symptoms and call 911 should they begin showing signs of any.
Make sure your foreman or project managers are well versed in understanding and spotting signs of heat related illnesses. Enforce more frequent breaks and provide extra hydration if possible. Your employees will not only be safer but more productive when being heat conscious.
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