Warm-weather working: how to be safe
If you work outside in the summer heat, it’s vital that you and your employees take care of yourselves to prevent heat rash, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburns and more. Here are some safety tips to protect yourself this summer:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Make sure you drink enough water before you begin working outside, and frequently take breaks to rehydrate. It’s recommended that you drink 16 ounces of water before you work outside, and then replenish with 5-7 ounces every 20 minutes. Also: Avoid drinking coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol when working outside—these beverages dehydrate you.
- Use a damp rag to wipe your face and keep around your neck. This will keep you cool while you work outside.
- Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Remember to reapply your sunscreen, too!
- Wear protective clothing—lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is best to keep you cool. If your clothing becomes saturated in sweat, change your clothes.
- Avoid direct sunlight if you can.
- Don’t work too quickly, and take frequent breaks. Try to pace yourself and keep an eye on how you’re feeling as you work outside. Take time away from the sun, in the shade or an air-conditioned room. Use this time to rehydrate.
- Watch out for heat-related illness such as:
- Heat stroke: Symptoms include hot skin; lack of sweat; high body temperature; strong, rapid pulse; chills; confusion; and slurred speech.
- Heat exhaustion: Look for excessive sweating; weakness/fatigue; dizziness/confusion; clammy skin; muscle cramps; and flushed complexion.
- Heat cramps: Symptoms include muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms, and/or legs.
- Heat rash: Look for clusters of pimples or small blisters on the skin, usually on the neck, upper chest, groin, under the breasts and in elbow creases.
When working outside in the summer heat, it’s important to protect yourself from dehydration, sunburns and much more. Do you have employees who work outside? Do you have proper workers’ compensation coverage? Give our office a call today and we can review your coverages to make sure you are covered properly.