4 ways to keep construction workers safe on job sites…

The month of June is now well underway, and we all know that temperatures are going to spike within the next couple of weeks. Whether you live in Indiana or North Carolina, we all have a heat wave to look forward to.

At Shiel Sexton, one of our main focuses for this summer is to ensure our workers are safe on the job. So, here are a few ideas on how to keep construction workers safe while combatting these hot temperatures:

Frequent Breaks:

This may seem obvious, but when temperatures are higher than usual, this becomes even more crucial in preventing exhaustion. Taking frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned space will help construction workers from overheating.

Wear Proper PPE:

While it is mandatory to wear PPE on jobsites, it is especially important to wear PPE at all times during the summer. Additional safety gear such as wearing safety glasses for UV protection, sunscreen, and hardhats, will greatly help reduce the risk of sun poisoning and burns.

Sunscreen is not typically seen as safety gear, but in terms of high temperatures and high UV, it is great in preventing sunburns. Being outside for hours at a time increases the risk of a sunburn or sun poisoning so wearing sunscreen and reapplying is key. In addition, wearing light-colored clothing can also combat the heat as dark colors attract more heat.

Frequently Hydrate:

When temperatures are higher, you expend more energy to cool yourself down, thus leading to exhaustion if you aren’t properly hydrating yourself. Drinking enough water will keep you from overheating and feeling ill from being exposed to the sun for long periods of time. If possible, try to stick to water instead other beverages such as soda or energy drinks as water is the most effective drink to keep you hydrated and healthy.  Prepare your body for the next day by drinking water and hydrating before you go to bed. 

Check on Your Coworkers:

In times of high heat, it is crucial that you regularly check-in on your coworkers to ensure that they are protecting themselves from the heat and are not feeling ill. Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion or illness is critical in protecting your coworkers. Checking for symptoms such as sweating, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and fainting is important in recognizing whether you or your colleague are suffering from heat illness.  Sweating during high heat is a good sign that your body is cooling your core down, NOT sweating is a sign of heat exhaustion and could lead to several heat related issues.

Construction workers typically work long hours and considering the majority of their day is spent outside on a jobsite, it’s critical to ensure their safety from the heat. We all want our workers to be safe on our jobsites, and these are a few simple ways to maintain their safety.