How to Stay Safe on the Job Site During the Summer
If you are working outside this summer, it’s important to protect yourself and your team from the sun and other summer elements. Below we’ve outlined some of the hazards you may experience during the summer and how to protect yourself on the job site.
Wearing the Wrong Footwear
This is one thing we see quite often - people buying the incorrect.
Wearing the wrong footwear can lead to things like athlete's foot, blisters and even slips and falls. Most people tend to look for something lightweight for the summer but that may not always be the right option for you. For example, if you are working a landscaping or golf course job you will most likely need a boot or shoe that is waterproof. A great option is a Hiker style boot, like the Kodiak Quest Bound – these shoes are made for walking in but also feature things like waterproof materials which will keep your feet protected in the elements.
Our bodies naturally adjust to maintain a temperature between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius, sweating helps keep our body cool but if you are working outdoors in the summer that may not be enough. If your body heats up faster than it can cool itself that's what leads to hear exhaustion and heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, nausea, weakness, fatigue and dizziness along with physical symptoms like cool, pale, and clammy skin. Heat stroke symptoms can include hot, dry, flushed skin. Other symptoms include agitation and confusion along with a decreased level of consciousness and awareness. If someone is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke 911 should be called immediately.
Some ways to prevent heat exhaustion can be taking cool down breaks (in the shade or a place with air conditioning), drinking lots of fluids, and wearing clothing appropriate for the weather. If you need to wear pants for your position you should check out CoolWorks Pants - these pants have ventilated panels to keep you comfortable on the job site.
If you are spending 5 days a week in the sun, it’s important to protect your skin and eyes from sun damage.
The best thing you can do is to wear sunscreen and making sure you are reapplying every two hours if you are outdoors all day, especially to areas that get a lot of sun exposure, like your nose, ears, and neck. As well, it is important to wear sunglasses or tinted safety glasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays and sun damage.
Clothing also plays a major part in sun exposure as well, wearing a hat and light coloured clothing is also important. Timberland Pro's Wicking Good collection features shirts that have an SPF of 50+.
Pests & Plants
Another thing you need to keep an eye out for while working outdoors is pests and plants, this especially true if you are doing any kind of landscaping or forestry type work.
Pests like mosquitoes and horse flies can be annoying but don't pose much risk to your health. However, there are other pests that can be a bit more harmful, such as Ticks. The risk of getting a tick bite starts when the weather warms up in the spring, through until the fall. Ticks can contain Lyme disease which can cause rashes, chills and fever - if left untreated it can lead to neurological disorders and arthritis.
Other things you should keep an eye for is harmful plants like poison ivy that can lead to rashes and skin sensitivity.
The best way to protect yourself is to wear long sleeved shirts and pants and to make sure you are checking yourself consistently for rashes and bites.
We hope this guide helps protect you from some of the elements and hazards you may experience on the job site during the summer.