Let’s be honest; it is a brutally hot summer, especially for those working in non-climate controlled environments, such as the construction industry. For skilled trades professionals and construction workers, it is crucial that you stay cool and hydrated to be safe and healthy.
Staying safe at work is extremely important, and summer construction safety is a hot topic. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, thousands of people become ill from heat and humid conditions each year, including construction workers and skilled trades professionals. Here are some summer safety tips for skilled trades professionals and construction workers that will help to keep you safe and healthy.
Summer Safety Tips
- Build your tolerance: If you are new to working in a hot environment, allow your body time to adjust, by limiting your exposure to the heat and hot environment. This will help to build up your tolerance for the warmer conditions.
- Stay hydrated: Drink at least 1 cup of cool water every 20 to 30 minutes even if you are not thirsty. Stay away from sweet, sugary and caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and energy drinks, which can promote dehydration.
- Rest: Take short breaks to cool down in a well shaded and well ventilated, or climate controlled area. Take more frequent breaks if needed to cool down and hydrate as often as possible.
- Dress appropriately: Wear light-coloured and breathable clothing, including a hat, whenever possible. Remove any unnecessary clothing and limit your exposure to direct sun.
- Look out for each other: Keep an eye on your coworkers, and pay attention to how you are feeling as well. Some of the signs to watch for heat related illnesses are; dizziness, weakness, elevated body temperature, sluggishness and slurred speech.
- Get help: If you or a coworker experience any heat related emergencies such as slurred speech, elevated body temperature, seizures, loss of consciousness, or even if you are unsure if it is a heated related emergency, please call 911 immediately. Stay together until help arrives, don’t leave anyone alone in an emergency.
For all the skilled trades professionals and construction workers, please practise these summer safety tips and share them with your coworkers, your family, and friends as well. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy!