Heat can cause discomfort for those who work outside, and a new study finds extreme heat can lead to more on-the-job injuries, too, such as falls and other accidents, because the heat makes it difficult for workers to concentrate. The research shows that on days when temperatures top 100 degrees Fahrenheit, injury risk grows by 10% to 15%.
Those who work in construction, road maintenance, landscaping or one of the many other professions involving outdoor work environments can’t avoid the heat, but as an employer, you can implement sun safety measures to reduce your employees’ likelihood of developing heat illness. You can also watch for symptoms of distress that could signal trouble.
Working outdoors in the sun puts employees at a higher risk of experiencing heat-related illnesses such as heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and, worst of all, heat stroke. Some symptoms of heat illness are:
Along with direct sun exposure, other factors that increase the risk of heat illness to employees include:
Recognizing the symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others could help avoid serious heat-related health problems or even death. If you see such signs, take action immediately.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention. At the very least, you should remove the employee from sun exposure and place them in a cool or shaded area, give them cool water to drink, remove their unnecessary clothing, and have another person stay with them until medical personnel arrive or their symptoms diminish.
Preventing heat illness is the best way to ensure healthy employees and efficient work in the summer heat. Tips for preventing heat illness include:
You can also review the sun safety measures outlined in our infographic and share the infographic with your workers.'
For more details on sun and heat safety, check out some of the resources we offer or talk with one of our safety consultants by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.