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Actions That Will Prevent Heat Exhaustion at Your Construction Site

Preventing heat exhaustion should be a priority for every worker in the trade. Contractors don't want to be short crew members when work is at the most fast-paced of the year, and laborers definitely need to avoid the long term effects of a heat-related spell. Heat exhaustion is often overlooked as an aspect of job site safety, and “deal with it” is by no means an effective measure to handle the summer heat.

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature rises beyond what can be cooled by sweating. The first signs of heat exhaustion might include cramps, heat rash or dizziness. Any of these symptoms could quickly evolve into fainting or troubled breathing, if left untreated. The key to addressing heat related illness is to take actions that will prevent heat exhaustion at your construction site.

Actions that Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Drink Water—Your body needs fluid to be able to sweat and cool down, thus it's very important to drink lots of water, to stay hydrated.

Dress Appropriately—Lightweight and lighter colored clothing helps your body stay, while reflecting the sun’s heat, instead of absorbing it. It can be a challenge to dress cool while maintaining safety standards with pants and long sleeves, but it’s important to encourage your workforce to invest in lightweight materials for these items.

Wear a Hat or Sun Visor—Your head is basically a solar panel for heat. In addition to dressing in appropriate clothing, encourage your workforce to wear protective headgear as well, if it’s not already a part of their safety gear.

Work Harder, Earlier—If possible, allow your workforce to start the workday earlier in the morning, during summer months. Temperatures usually spike around noon, and with an earlier start, your team can complete the bulk of their work before the afternoon heatwave.

Take Breaks—Taking frequent short breaks may sound like it will slow production, but it can actually lead to better productivity on the job site, after your workforce recharges their batteries.

Heat exhaustion should be treated with as much care as any other safety hazard. Help your employees prepare for long summer days, by being mindful of weather conditions and taking the preventative measures necessary to protect your team from heat related illness.

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