Find out the best ways to ensure that your construction crew stays safe in the summer heat.
There are few harder jobs than working construction outdoors in summer in Florida. Keeping workers safe from heat exhaustion and heat stroke is of the greatest importance. There are many things that outdoor construction workers can do to stay safe while working in the heat of the day. Explore the procedures and policies every company should have in place to keep outdoor workers safe in the summer heat.
Fighting Heat-Related Illnesses in Outdoor Construction
Keeping workers from becoming sick due to the heat is in everyone’s best interest. A sick worker is not 100 percent productive and may require time off or even emergency medical services. Ensuring that workers are staying cool and safe while working outdoors is the best policy.
Employers should pay attention to the following things:
- The Heat Index. The heat index is a combination of the outdoor temperature and relative humidity, and it tells us how hot it actually feels to the human body. Humidity makes it more difficult for a person’s sweat to evaporate and cool the body down; this makes it feel hotter than just the air temperature alone and heat-related illnesses more likely. The dangers of heat-related illness start after 90 degrees Fahrenheit on the heat index chart. Heat index charts are available online, and it’s important to note that they are for the shade; working in full sun adds roughly 15 degrees to all of the heat index values. Give employees multiple breaks and a place to cool down during the hottest parts of the day.
- Hydration. Staying hydrated cannot be overstressed. Provide cold water and/or electrolyte beverages that employees always have access to.
- Provide Heat-Reducing Clothing. Many companies provide company-branded clothing to employees, especially those that require high-visibility colors. Make sure your company provides thin, long-sleeve shirts in breathable materials, and consider adding wide-brimmed hats.
- Plan Work According to the Heat. Wherever possible, plan work according to the heat. For example, try to work during the cooler parts of the day, offer a longer break during the hottest parts of the day, and rotate employees working around machinery that emits heat.
- Have an Emergency Plan in Place. Make sure workers know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and know what to do to help the affected worker.
At Tucker Paving, safety is always our leading priority! We have over 25 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving industry in The Sunshine State. We use our expertise for residential, commercial, and municipal clients. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, or fill out our contact form online, to let us assist you with your next concrete or asphalt paving project!