Summer is here, and the weather is heating up. While this is an excellent time for construction work, it can be brutal for the construction workers considering they are out in the heat all day, working as hard as they possibly can. Excessive heat and sun exposure can pose significant dangers including, heat exhaustion, severe sunburns, heat cramps, heat stroke or even death.
According to a 2019 report by ISHN.com, thousands of construction workers experience heat-related illnesses every year, and in some cases, these instances can become fatal. There are a number of things that can be adopted to protect your employees. Here are a few tips to mitigate the effects of heat and keep your construction crew safe.
It's particularly important for outdoor construction workers to drink plenty of fluids, especially on hot days to prevent dehydration. Cool water should be the main source of hydration. Sports drinks can also be used as supplements to help return needed electrolytes into the body to keep going through the hot weather.
Maintaining stable body temperature is critical in avoiding heat-related illness. Whenever a construction worker is feeling overheated or presenting symptoms of heat stress, it's essential to have them take a break in a cool and shaded area. There is a need to have locations around the worksite that give workers cool shelter. This could be in an air-conditioned room or building or a make-shift structure.
Dress for the Heat
Dressing appropriately for the hot weather can significantly reduce the chances of heat-related injuries. Lightweight, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, as well as brimmed hard hats, safety glasses and sunscreen for UV protection can protect workers from the heat and keep them safe.
Workers who are suddenly exposed to working in hot environments face additional hazards to their health and safety. If a new employee isn't used to the high temperatures, have them slowly acclimatize by working 50 percent of a regular workload and gradually build up to 100% at their own pace. If possible, have them do the hardest work during the coolest periods of the day.
Adjust Work Schedules
In many places around the world where it's hot all-year-round, construction companies begin work very early and call it a day by early afternoon as the heat gets worse. Companies should consider adjusting their work schedules to accommodate high temperatures.
Construction companies should have safety policies that outline every step workers should take in the event of a heat-related illness. It's important to have all employees on the jobsite trained regularly on hazards of heat exposure, the proper ways to keep safe and how to react in the event of a heat-related illness. Having a heat awareness and prevention program can mean saving someone's life and meeting critical deadlines.
Give Them Tools that Make the Job Easier
More importantly, consider using the right tools and resources for the job to put less strain on the user. At BECK, we offer quality fasteners and nailers for both residential and commercial construction. The SCRAIL® RoofLoc® Metal Roofing System makes installing metal roofing efficient and effective while reducing strain on the user. Contact us today to learn more about this innovative product. You can trust us for all your metal fastening needs.