Monthly Archives: August 2021

Jobsite Approved Lunches

Jobsites can be unpredictable, especially while the heat of summer is in full effect! As millions of Americans carry “sack lunches” onto the jobsite, it is important to assure proper cooking and handling has been done. So, enjoy these quick tips because we want you to get the most out of your meal, and enjoy your SAFE jobs site approved lunch!

 

Although it may be tempting to carry your lunch in an affordable brown bag, or to keep it in the bag from the store this can be very dangerous. The ideal start for carrying your food is the use of an insulated container with AT LEAST 2 freezer packs – one above and one below the perishable foods.

The insulated container and freezer packs keep cold food cold and reduce the spread of harmful bacteria. The bacteria multiply rapidly in foods within the “danger zone,” 40°F to 140°F, for more than 2 hours (1 hour when temperatures surpass 90°F). The ability to keep your lunch at a safe temperature allows for a much more imaginative mealtime. Keep reading to see our mealtime tips!

 

Safe lunches begin with safe food preparation. It is important to follow these simple steps.

  • Cooking food to safe temperatures is vital in food preparation; use clean utensils and wash all working surfaces each time. When storing leftover meals, immediately place in packaging or airtight containers. Be sure to portion large quantities into smaller dishes to get food in the “safe zone” (at or below 40°F) quickly to reduce the risk of bacteria.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. In addition, wash all storage dishes, work surfaces and even your insulated lunch container. If you are in a situation where you must use a classic brown paper bag, be sure they are purchased from the food preparation aisle at your local supermarket.
  • Do not over prepare your packed lunch. Packing too much perishable food can cause cooling issues with your cool packs and causes issues of food disposal on the jobsite. If you do pack too much, share with a friend to limit food waste.
  • When handling liquids or fluid foods, use a thermos to keep foods cold or hot. Hot foods should be packaged in a preheated thermal container. Preheating can be done by placing boiling water into the container and letting it set for a few minutes before filling with your preheated food.

 

All perishable foods that are intended to be served cold, must be kept cold. Foods prepared with meat (including fish and poultry), eggs, dairy, cut & peeled fruits and vegetables, pasta and rice dishes meat these guidelines.

  • Prepared foods made in advance and packaged the evening before should stay refrigerated until they are ready to be added to your lunch container. When morning arrives, you should then add foods that do not require refrigeration such as chips or cookies.
  • When arriving at work, place your lunch in a cool dark place. If it is possible to refrigerate, do so, but in many workplaces this option is unavailable. In addition to cooling packs, a frozen water or sports drink can significantly help keep your food cool.

 

Foods that require reheating should be microwaved until they are steaming and heated throughout. Let foods reach edible temperatures to avoid burning.

 

Although many foods require thorough preparation and care to avoid food-borne bacteria, there are some that can remain at room temperature (68-72°F). In hot temperatures, room temperature can be met in an insulated container, and on cool days can be safe without additional preparation.

Safe foods include:

  • Nut butter sandwiches (peanut butter, hazelnut spread, almond butter)
  • Breads & crackers
  • Prepared popcorn
  • Whole intact fruit (fruit with the peel)
  • Fruit cups/ pudding cups
  • Dried fruit, nuts & seeds
  • Cookies, bars, prepared snack mixes
  • Prepared meats, seafood & beans (canned that can be opened and eaten immediately)

 

5 Summer Safety Tips

The summer months come and go in the blink of an eye, but the warmer temperatures can linger on well into the fall. When working in these hotter conditions, employees need to take certain precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses. Below are five safety tips to keep your crew safe during the summer.

 

 

 

Stay Hydrated

Having accessible drinking water and staying well-hydrated is the body’s best defense in hot working conditions. Make sure employees have plenty of water on site and are encouraged to frequently rehydrate. 

Shaded Areas for Resting

Make sure employees have a chance to take breaks out of the direct sun to avoid heatstroke and sunburns. Having lighter mesh clothing and sunscreen are also important tools to staying safe in the sun.

Take Constant Breaks

Continuous work in the heat is not advisable, taking frequent breaks to cool off is ideal when working in hot weather. 

The CDC estimates the amount of break time needed depending on weather and type of work being done- for example, doing moderate work in 103 degrees Fahrenheit would require a 30 minute break for every 30 minutes of work. 

Learn to Recognize the Signs of Heat-Related Illness

Heat stress can be dangerous mainly because it can come on very suddenly- the person experiencing it may not even know it. Making sure everyone on the jobsite is able to spot the signs of heatstroke and heat-related illness, and what to do if these symptoms appear in someone, can be the key to keeping everyone safe.

Some signs to look for include

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Clammy, damp, or pale skin
  • Strange behavior or altered mental state
  • Panting/rapid breathing, rapid heart rate

If someone is experiencing any number of these symptoms should stop working immediately and seek medical attention. 

Use Climate Control Equipment When Working Indoors

Working inside on a hot day can begin to feel stifling very quickly. Using industrial size fans or air conditioning can make employees in an indoor work environment cool, safe and productive. Hugg & Hall Utility Services offers multiple air conditioning units, including the Airrex w/ Dehumidifier which offers programmable controls and operating range of 64-113 degrees. This can be especially important to control the dampness in the air to keep materials dry and provide cool air for employees.