It’s no secret – we’re having a heat wave. Unfortunately, it ain’t no tropical heat wave. Just an old-fashioned, Midwestern, grab-your-pets-and-hang-out-in-the-basement heat wave. And the show must go on. Projects are underway and for a myriad of reasons, they can’t be delayed. So it’s absolutely imperative to be smart on the job-site.
Per the CDC website, here are some steps – with our added commentary – you can take to make your project safer for all of your workers.
While the CDC recommends working in air-conditioning as much as possible, unfortunately, it’s not available on the side of a highway or high up on a bridge. But, almost always, trucks are just a short walk away. Use them. Not just for driving but for taking a break in the air conditioning whenever you’re feeling overheated.
Avoid direct sunlight
This is tough to do on the job-site. But remember, the shade is your friend. Schedule your projects so that you’re constantly using the shade created by the angles of the sun. Additionally, get a few umbrellas on your site. Their shade is great for short breaks, taking water or discussing plans with others on the project.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing
This is pretty self-explanatory but something that many don’t think about as they’re getting dressed in the morning. Give your body every opportunity for staying cool that you can. Today, there are many alternatives to the workwear of old. Plan and prepare accordingly.
Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. You must stay hydrated to stay sharp and focused. The CDC recommends two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside. And while you’re at it, encourage those you’re working with to get water often. Remember those umbrellas we were talking about – they’re great for water breaks.
Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips. Today, such data is available right on your smartphone or iPad. Try to schedule around the heat when the opportunity allows. Again, use technology to stay up to speed.
Best of luck out there. Be safe and keep those around you motivated to do the same. Here’s to cooler temps!