Perhaps one of the biggest safety concerns during the summer months is occupational heat exposure. Thousands of workers become sick from the heat every year, and some even die. Even if you’re not working outside, indoor spaces can become extremely hot if not air conditioned or ventilated properly.
Here are seven tips you should use to train your employees to be prepared to endure the heat this summer.
1) Change up your shifts
If it’s possible, develop a system of various shifts so people are not working outside from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., which is the hottest part of the day.
2) Shield yourselves from the sun
Require your employees to protect themselves from the sun. Wear UV resistant sunglasses, hats and light-weight, loose fitting clothing that breathes. Although it’s tempting to wear shorts and short sleeved shirts, long sleeves and long pants are more protective. Avoid dark colors as they absorb more heat and you may overheat even faster.
3) Have your employees monitor one another
Encourage them to look for wooziness, inability to focus, unsteadiness and reddening of skin in their colleagues. Often the person suffering is the last one to realize it. If the symptoms persist even after retreating inside and sipping some water, medical attention should be sought.
4) Know signs of heat exhaustion
Educate your employees on the signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration and skin cancer. With all three ailments, early detection is key to make sure the symptoms don’t escalate into something worse. The sooner treatment can be sought, the less severe the effects will be. Otherwise, hospitalization might be necessary.
5) Stay hydrated
Drink water and sports drinks. Avoid sugary sodas, energy drinks, caffeine and of course, alcohol. Keep a water bottle handy and take frequent sips throughout the day.
6) Take breaks to go inside
If you can’t get inside a building, take breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned car. Sip, don’t gulp, water and monitor yourself and your employees for signs of dizziness or headaches.
7) Use bug spray
There are many diseases spread by various mosquitoes, so do your best to avoid being bitten. This is another reason why long sleeves and long pants are best.
Are you looking to provide a safe working environment for new hires?