We may be only one week into the official summer season, but down here in the South, we’ve already experienced our fair share of heatwaves with no sight of them disappearing any time soon.
We at Tioga always practice safety first. If you’re running a company or project site with employees working outdoors, such as construction, or performing physically demanding jobs like inside a factory, it’s important to take precautions for your team to stay safe and healthy this summer.
Working in extreme temperatures and humidity can result in heat stress injuries such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry. While those above 65 years old and those with health issues are at an even greater risk to heat stress, workers in every field despite age or physical condition are just as susceptible.
OSHA offers an easy message to remember: Water. Rest. Shade.
During hot days, it’s recommended to take breaks every 15 minutes to rest in a cool, shady environment and hydrate. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, which should be avoided. Be sure to drink two to four cups of water every hour.
Employers should take proper precautions to prevent heat exposure for workers, including increasing ventilation, adding cooling fans, providing water stations and rotating job functions among workers. They should also have an emergency plan in place and ensure medical services are provided on-site. Lastly, supervisors and workers should be trained to identify whether someone is showing symptoms and know how to administer first aid.
Safety is a priority to Tioga. We strive to create a work environment that promotes safe performance. If you need advice on improving safety at your project site, contact us today.