How to Increase Safety on the Job Site in Warm Weather

workers digging

Warm weather is no excuse to let your guard down when it comes to hazardous conditions. Heat can be every bit as dangerous to the human body as cold, and it can be easy to ignore the signs until the danger has escalated. The only solution is to get proactive about warm weather job site safety! Here, we’ll discuss five important tips about choosing the right summer safety workwear, plus other essential precautions for working in hot weather.  

1. Get everybody on the job site equipped with breathable hi vis clothing.

When it comes to summer work clothing, comfort and safety go hand in hand. That’s why one of the first tasks on any warm weather job site is to get everyone equipped with high visibility clothing that’s made from breathable, moisture wicking fabrics to keep everyone comfortable and focused on the task at hand. Some potentially important hi vis items to outfit your team with include:

2. Make it easy to stay hydrated.

Dehydration is incredibly dangerous for the human body, so employers need to make it a high priority to keep their workers hydrated. To do that, managers on the ground need to be proactive about ensuring that their job site setup includes access to plenty of water, whether it’s a cooler with cups or bottled water. 

A few tips for encouraging workers to stay hydrated: First, make sure that workers have adequate bathroom breaks and access so that they don’t feel like they need to limit their fluid intake. Second, keep the water cool or cold, or provide non-sugary flavorings, to make it more appealing. Finally, remind workers to drink even when they’re not thirsty — feeling thirst means your body is already approaching dehydration.

3. Ensure that ways to cool off are easily available.

Every job site should have a cool, shady place available when workers need to beat the heat. Since air conditioned indoor areas might not be available, pop-up canopy tents with box fans (and a water cooler) are a standard choice. Using air conditioned vehicles can work in a pinch, but it’s not a sustainable solution. Cooling products, such as cooling towels, can also help workers stay comfortable while they’re working. These products are widely popular on job sites because they’re incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is soak the towel or garment in clean water, wring it out, snap it and put it to work!

Stay Seen with Our Hi Vis Safety Gear

man looking out from heavy machinery

4. Take sun protection seriously.

Protecting a person’s skin from the sun is about a lot more than avoiding a nasty sunburn. Overexposure to UV radiation has all kinds of long-term consequences, so it’s every manager’s responsibility to make sure their workers are safe from the sun. First, all workers who will be in direct sunlight should be using a sweat-resistant sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, reapplied every two hours. However, the best option is to avoid exposing skin to the sun in the first place, which is why some workers still rock long sleeve summer shirts and pants. SPF rated clothing is even available to help workers maximize their sun protection.

5. Train all workers to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are ever-present dangers for anyone working in hot conditions. While preventing them (through hydration and shade) is obviously the best option, every worker and manager also needs to know the symptoms to watch out for. We cover this in-depth in our guide to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but here are some of the key symptoms:

  • Heat Exhaustion
    • Excessive sweating
    • Clammy skin
    • Faintness or dizziness
    • Muscle cramps
  • Heat Stroke
    • Inability to sweat
    • Dry red skin
    • Fainting
    • Severe headache

A buddy system is crucial for spotting these signs early. Make sure that every worker has a safety buddy who’s watching them for heat illness symptoms, and that all workers know what to do in a heat emergency. Someone suffering heat exhaustion needs to immediately be moved to an air conditioned area and given cool water to sip. If heat stroke symptoms are present, call 911 and get the person medical attention as quickly as possible. Finally, remember that heat hazards can still strike at night, so don’t get complacent just because the sun has gone down. Staying hydrated and alert is a must, no matter the time of day!

construction worker on break

HiVis Supply is your one-stop source for warm weather work clothing. From work shirts to work hats and beyond, our selection will make sure everybody’s staying cool and staying seen! 

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