For employees who work outside, the elements are a major consideration. This is especially true in the summer when rising temperatures can place workers at risk for heat-related health concerns. It’s important to take steps to help your outdoor workers stay safe and healthy while working outside in the summertime heat.
Five ways to help ensure your employees stay safe on the job this summer
Providing the proper precautions and encouraging key safety practices are critical for the well-being of your outdoor workers. This includes:
- Preparing to work outside. As the weather warms up, you can help your workers acclimate to the heat by reducing hours out in the sun. It may take a few weeks to help employees adjust, and understand how to dress, how much water to drink, when to take a break, etc. Employees with health conditions that pre-dispose them to heat-related illness should refrain from a full workload when the weather is too hot.
- Dressing for the heat. Dark-colored clothing and heavy fabrics absorb and trap the sun’s rays. Workers should dress in light colors, and breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Hats, and sunglasses with UV protection, are important to help shield the face and eyes.
- Wearing sunscreen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sun can damage your skin in a little as 15 minutes, though you may not be able to see this damage for up to 12 hours. They recommend wearing sunscreen on any exposed skin per instructions on the label and reapplying regularly.
- Limit exposure and take breaks. On extremely hot days, it’s best to limit time in the sun when it’s highest in the sky—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This could require you to adjust your shifts in order to accommodate work, despite the weather. It’s also important that workers take frequent breaks in the shade to rest and cool down.
- Stay hydrated. Workers should have access to plenty of water, and be encouraged to sip frequently. Energy drinks can also help replenish lost electrolytes through sweat. Drinks like coffee and soda can be dehydrating and are best avoided during a shift.
Provide adequate training
It’s important that your workers understand the importance of summertime work safety. Provide adequate training and be open to feedback you may receive from your team.
Manage your business risks
Every business is placed at risk for various concerns, and it’s critical to manage these. For helping to understand and managing your risks to keep them under control, contact Odell Studner today to learn more!