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.
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:
- Muscle cramps
- 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.