Yellow setting sun forms a black silhouette of outdoor workers with construction crane
2 minute read

It’s no secret that there are lots of hazards on a typical job site, that why we’re sharing these safety tips for outdoor workers. Outdoor workers are aware that power tools like quick cuts, chainsaws and Sawzalls can be dangerous. They also know that special care is required to safely operate heavy machinery. Most job sites mandate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, goggles and steel-toe boots to shield themselves from the dangers above, but what about the hazards of working outdoors in the summer that are under the radar?

4 safety tips for outdoor workers in summer:

Protect yourself from the sun

  • Cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants. If you’re worried about overheating, wear lighter colours or shirts with cooling technology.
  • Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours.
  • Wear a wide-brim hat to protect your head from sun rays. If you require a hard hat, consider one with a 360-degree brim.
  • Sunglasses are good, ones specifically designed to block UV rays are better.
  • If you know workers will be in a specific area with no shade for a few hours, set up a tent or tarp to protect them.

Be wary of insects

  • Avoid wearing scented deodorant or bright colours.
  • Try not to eat in areas with lots of insects, they’re attracted to food odors.
  • If you happen to come across a wasp or hornet nest, don’t touch or go near it but back away slowly. Though if they come out and begin stinging then run.
  • Mosquitos breed near standing water so empty buckets, wheelbarrows and brush away small puddles.
  • Use insect repellant spray, if necessary, and be sure to follow the directions when doing so since some sprays are more potent than others and should be used sparingly.

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Keep sites as quiet as possible

  • Stand two to three feet from an employee and try speaking with them. If you need to raise your voice to be heard then the noise level is loud enough to damage hearing.
    • Mitigate this by providing earplugs — even small, disposable ones help — to all employees.
  • Certain loud machinery, like generators, can be kept away from staff while on site — bring extra extension cords.
  • While it isn’t always possible, but try renting or buying quieter equipment when you can.

Stay cool

  • Drink cool water frequently in small amounts. Sports drink are okay but coffee, tea and some soft drinks may cause dehydration.
  • Schedule heavier work for the morning and evening.
  • Call in additional workers on hot days and rotate their shifts. Give everyone the day off if it’s hot enough.
  • Paleness, redness, nausea, cramps, headaches, vomiting and general weakness are all signs that a worker is overheating. Get them to rest in the shade while drinking water if any of them are apparent.

These safety tips for outdoor workers can help reduce the risk of injury and accidents. Stay tuned to this blog for more tips on safety, risk management and loss prevention.