It’s no secret that there are lots of hazards on a typical job site, particularly when the job takes place outside during the summer months. Outdoor workers are aware that power tools like quick cuts, chainsaws, and reciprocating saws can be dangerous. Most job sites prioritize outdoor worker safety and use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, goggles, and steel-toe boots to protect employees from on the job dangers. Everyone knows that special care is required to safely operate tools and heavy machinery, but what about the hazards linked to working in extremely hot and sunny conditions?
4 tips for outdoor worker safety in the 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 some time before going out in the sun and reapply frequently.
- 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 offer protection from the sun.
Be wary of insects
- Avoid wearing scented deodorant or extremely bright colours.
- Try not to eat in areas with lots of insects, as they can be attracted to food odors.
- If you happen to come across a wasp or hornet nest, don’t touch it or go near it. Instead, back away slowly. Though, if they come out and begin stinging then run.
- Mosquitos breed near standing water so empty buckets and wheelbarrows. mop up small puddles.
- Use insect repellant spray, if necessary. Be sure to follow the directions when doing so since some sprays are more potent than others and should be used sparingly.
Keep sites as quiet as possible
- If employees are constantly exposed to 85 dBA throughout the workday, then the noise level is loud enough to damage hearing.
- Mitigate this by providing earplugs — even small, disposable ones can 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, try renting or buying quieter equipment when you can.
- Drink cool water frequently in small amounts. Sports drinks 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 to warrant a regional heat warning.
- Paleness, redness, nausea, cramps, headaches, vomiting, and general weakness are all signs that a worker is overheating. If a worker displays any of these signs, have them rest in the shade while drinking water.
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This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.