You and your crew work a lot of long hours in the heat. It can be draining for you as well as pose a health threat if you are not careful.
There really is no way around being out in the heat since you need to be in order to do your work, but here are 3 safety hazards you can avoid now that you know about them.
Fatigue in this case isn’t about not getting enough sleep. It is an impairment that could harm yourself or others. It can reduce your mental and physical functioning, your response/reaction time and your judgement/concentration. It will also lover your motivation to get your work done at all.
· Avoid having workers in direct sun for long periods and make sure a shady area is available for breaks.
· Provide plenty of fluids such as gatorade and even some salty snacks like pretzels to replenish sodium lost to sweat.
· Encourage use or provide hats to protect workers from the sun
#2: Heat Sickness
There are a number of illnesses that go along with the heat including heat rash and heat stroke.
To minimize the risks of workers getting sick from exposure to the heat, if the temperatures are extreme consider rescheduling work to cooler parts of the day such as early morning or evening. Also when possible, work in shaded areas to avoid direct sun exposure even if only temporarily.
When it is very hot out or humid try to reduce physical demands and change out the workers that are on the project if possible. Mandate rest periods in cool areas and encourage hydration continuously.
Training your employees to recognize heat illness symptoms and how to treat them can also be a huge plus as they may spot one of their coworkers experiencing symptoms and can help right away.
Early symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, stumbling, dropping tools, slurred speech or unresponsiveness.
Extreme heat and hard physical labor can increase the rate at which our bodies lose water, depleting our hydration levels and causing a risk to health and safety.
Water is arguably the best hydrating beverage, but it’s tasteless and boring. If you want to keep water on hand you can add lemon to the cooler. You can also keep electrolyte beverages on hand such as Gatorade.