Safety Tips for Working Outdoors in the Summer
Working outside in the summer can be a great way to enjoy the warm weather, spend more time in nature, and even help work on a tan. However, as the weather gets hotter, it can become much more dangerous to work outside for extended periods of time, especially in extreme humidity. For those who work outdoors, it’s important to make sure proper safety precautions are taken so everyone stays healthy when exposed to the heat. Here are a few tips for keeping your employees safe while working outside this summer.
Drink lots of water
First, most people don’t get enough water in their day, even when working indoors. When employees are working outside in high temperatures, the need to consume water and stay hydrated becomes even more important in order to stay healthy.
Depending on the type of tasks your employees are performing, you may find it helpful to provide them with hydration during the day, or make sure they can easily access water from the job location.
When it becomes really hot out, continually working and exerting oneself can cause a lot of bodily harm. It’s important for employees to take adequate breaks during the workday, and to take those breaks in the shade or out of the heat if possible.
It’s a good idea to designate an area at every outdoor workspace that can be used for breaks. This will both encourage workers to take the breaks they need, and also allow you to ensure a specific area is appropriate and safe (air-conditioned or shaded, has seating, access to cold water, etc.).
Wear appropriate clothing
Working outside with clothes that completely cover you can feel counterintuitive, but not wearing enough clothing can be dangerous. It is important to have protection from the sun’s rays, as well as its heat. Ensure your employees wear appropriate clothing, such as a hat to protect their face from the sun or lightweight long-sleeved shirts, that can protect them from sunburn.
If your employees must expose their skin while working, always make sure they are wearing good quality sunscreen and reapplying it often. It’s also important to remember that while sunscreen will prevent sunburn, it does not protect from the effects of heat. With this in mind, try to ensure your employees have work clothes that are made from breathable fabrics (or moisture-wicking) to keep the body cool.
Train employees appropriately
Depending on the kind of business you’re running, you may require certain staff receive training for health and safety in extreme temperatures. If your crews are outside during the hot weather, someone on every job site or with every unit should be trained to identify the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and how to keep everyone as cool as possible.
While it may be inevitable for some of your employees to have to work outdoors in hot weather, their safety should not be put at risk. With appropriate precautions – such as enforcing breaks, suitable clothing, and adequate access to water – you will be in the best position to ensure that your employees are working safely during the hottest months of the year. It is also valuable to keep communication open with your workers, and understand how they are feeling both before and during working in especially high temperatures.
Contact TeksMed today
While most employers make every effort to ensure their employees stay safe on the job, there are times when injuries and illnesses still occur. If you need help with your disability or return to work program, contact TeksMed today.