A lot of businesses require work and responsibilities outdoors. Farms, landscaping contractors, cable repair companies, builders, and any other type of business with outdoor workers need to keep those employees safe from the elements that could cause problems. In the summer, the most important elements to protect employees from are the potentially intense heat and sunlight. Here are some tips:
- Advise employees of the importance of staying hydrated. Have water available if you can. Remember, waiting until you are thirsty to drink means you are already on the way to dehydration. Drinking periodically throughout the day regardless of thirst can keep you well hydrated.
- Provide shade. Getting out of the sun as often as possible is important. A small amount of sun each day is OK and beneficial. But more than 15 minutes at a time could cause skin damage and other physical problems.
- Remind employees about using sunscreen for the times when they need to work in the sun.
- Teach employees what signs could mean they are suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Per WebMD.com, here are the most common signs:
- Dark-colored urine ( dehydration)
- Muscle or abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pale skin
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- If an employee shows any of the above signs, make sure they get to a cool place out of the sun to avoid further issues.
- Devise a schedule that can allow outdoor employees to work in the early morning or late evening hours when the sun is not at its peak.
Your employees’ safety on the job is a vital part of your business. Avoid workers comp claims and employee absences by staying ahead of the heat this summer.