Working outside, or even inside in a space that’s not efficiently cooled, can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions to protect yourself from the heat and sun. If you’re not careful, the heat can really affect your health and job performance, resulting in dehydration, heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.
5 safety tips for light industrial workers:
Tip#1: Dress appropriately
Keep skin covered as best as you can. It’s tempting to wear a tank top and shorts to stay cool, but you shouldn’t expose your skin to the scorching sun. Wear long sleeves and long pants, made of a material that breathes. They should be loose-fitting so fresh air can flow over your skin and help you stay cool. Light colors are best—dark colors attract and absorb sunlight to make your body even hotter.
Tip #2: Drink fluids
Water is the best choice, but sports drinks are a close second as they help replenish electrolytes after you’re already dehydrated. Caffeine, sugary sodas and juices, energy drinks, and alcohol will all dehydrate you even faster. If you have one of those, you should follow it up with twice as much water.
Tip #3: Accessorize
Sunglasses! A hat! Sunscreen! All will help protect you from the effects of the sun, which can be damaging to your eyes, vision, and skin. A hat will also keep your body slightly cooler by preventing surface blood vessels from moving heat to the rest of your body. And instead of dabbing on cologne or perfume in the morning, try a few sprays of bug spray. Not only are mosquito bites annoying, but they can transmit viruses and bites can get infected with too much scratching.
Tip #4: Take breaks from the heat
Go inside, into the AC! Or take a few minutes to grab some water and sit in an air-conditioned car. Find a fan or at the very least sit in the shade for a little bit. Your body need the chance to recover from the heat. If you feel dizzy, weak or nauseous, take a break immediately. The heat is always the worst between the hours of 10am and 2pm, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. If you can avoid working out in the heat during those hours, do it. If it’s unavoidable, remember take frequent breaks to prevent injury and illness.
Tip #5: Monitor your body
Pay attention for signs of distress—dizziness, weakness, nausea, clammy hands, goose bumps. These are signs of heat exhaustion and can get worse if you don’t take action. Get out of the heat, sip some water, and if your symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
Are you looking for a new job?
For more information on how to stay safe and healthy through the summer, check out our safety shorts. You can also search for a new job near you.