Every season carries its own unique challenges for outdoor workers from the ice of winter to the rainstorms of spring to the brutal heat of summer. It’s very important to be aware of how to stay safe and know the various summer safety tips for outdoor workers, for the health and safety of you and your workers and for the good of your working environment. If you work outside, your risk for overexposure to heat rises significantly, and being unaware of how to stay safe can lead to heat-related disorders, illnesses, and even death.
Here, we’ve gathered some of the top summer safety tips for outdoor workers so that you can get through the workday while avoiding the potential of heatstroke. Fortunately, through utilizing these summer safety tips for outdoor workers, you can help prevent the risk of heatstroke and stay protected while on the job.
#1. Stay Hydrated
Many people don’t drink enough water, even if they aren’t outdoor workers. However, especially if you work outside, it’s crucial that you stay hydrated. It can be easy to forget to drink enough when you’re in a workflow; however, you need to be drinking water every hour, especially when it’s hot out. It’s easier to get dehydrated when you work outside, since your body sweats in order to stay cool.
Thus, one of the most important summer safety tips for outdoor workers is to drink more throughout your workday and not wait until you’re thirsty in order to drink. You want to stay away from caffeinated, sugary, or alcoholic beverages, as these can actually end up dehydrating you. Since sweating results in losing salt and minerals, sports drinks can help your body replace them.
Many people don’t even realize that they’re dehydrated until they start feeling sick or faint, so keeping a water bottle close by and drinking throughout the day helps you stay hydrated throughout the workday. If you don’t like the taste of water, you may consider adding a flavored hydration packet or some sliced fruit to it, to make it more drinkable.
#2. Be Mindful With PPE
Many outdoor workers need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to stay safe on the job. This can get hot, but taking off your PPE can create all sorts of safety risks other than heat, so one of our summer safety tips for outdoor workers to help with this is to wear light-colored and breathable clothing. Light colored clothes reflect the sun, which helps you to stay cooler, and breathable materials, such as cotton, help with air flow.
Some other things that can help keep you cool include wearing cooling vests, vented gloves and hats, and neck and wrist wraps or skull caps that are engineered to help keep your body cool. Anti-fog goggles can help with eye protection as well.
If your job requires PPE, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for your fellow workers and to ask them to do the same for you, so that you can spot any signs of heat exhaustion and help each other out.
#3. Take More Breaks In Shady Or Air-Conditioned Places
Another of the important summer safety tips for outdoor workers is to take more little breaks throughout the day and to get out of the heat by stepping into the shade or an air-conditioned space. During your break, it’s the ideal time to drink a cup of water to help you stay hydrated.
You may also see if you can have cooling fans by your work place. In high temperatures, fans don’t do much to cool the area down, though, which makes taking more frequent breaks more important. You don’t want to take too many breaks, however, as this can make it harder for your body to adjust to the temperature differences.
Typically, activity should be lessened during the hottest hours of the day. If you are someone who creates work schedules, you may see if it is possible to adjust working hours to the cooler hours of the day. This helps create a safer work environment.
#4. Watch For The Early Signs Of Heat Exhaustion
Of all the summer safety tips for outdoor workers, knowing the signs of heat exhaustion and what to do if you or someone else starts to experience them is absolutely essential. Heat exhaustion can escalate into heatstroke, which is a medical emergency. Keep an eye on your fellow workers and ask for them to keep an eye on you too.
Some of the warning signs of heat exhaustion include:
- Slurring speech
- Clammy skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- And more
If you’re an employer, don’t assume that people know the signs of heat exhaustion. Take the time to do a training about it and ensure that you or the onsite supervisors know to keep an eye out for any warning signs. If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, immediately work to cool them down, and if needed, get medical help.
Stay Safe In The Heat
These are but a few of the summer safety tips for outdoor workers. If you are an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your workers know how to stay safe in the heat. All Trades Staffing Services LLC can help you find work or find workers. Check our job listings or contact us with any questions, and don’t forget to keep yourself safe in this heat!