With summer temperatures rising, it is important to be aware of the heat and how it can affect your body. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), outdoor workers are an especially vulnerable group from the effects of extreme heat. Because of this, we put together a list with heat protection tips to help you stay safe on the jobsite.
The first step to prevent heat exhaustion or stroke from happening to you and others is to know the signs. Typical signs of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, cold, pale & clammy skin, fast weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, and fainting. This can be remedied by drinking water, moving to a cool place, and loosening and wetting clothes. However, you need medical help if you are throwing up or if the symptoms get worse or don’t go away in an hour.
A heat stroke can present similar symptoms of nausea, headache, confusion, and fainting, along with a high body temperature (103°F or higher), hot, red, dry, or damp skin, and a fast strong pulse. This is a medical emergency and you should call 911.
Drinking water can help prevent the symptoms mentioned above. The CDC recommends to drink water or sport drinks before you are even thirsty when you are subject to extreme heat conditions. If you are in a jobsite for more than two hours, you should be drinking one cup (or 8oz.) of water every 15 to 20 minutes, but no more than 6 cups of water should be consumed in an hour. It is important to note that you should avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Don’t hesitate to take a break. Find shade and drink water as needed. As the workload increases, breaks can become more frequent. Keep in mind that new workers should be less exposed to the heat while their body adjusts to these types of job conditions.
Take advantage of technology
Nowadays, technology can provide solutions to everyday problems. The United States Department of Labor has created an app that measures the heat index of any jobsite. Created with outdoor workers in mind, the app calculates the heat risk level for the jobsite. It also sends you reminders to protect yourself from the heat. The app is available in multiple languages.
At Penhall Technologies, we recommend that our analysts use these tips when they are out at a jobsite performing private utility locating and concrete scanning services. These tips are useful to anyone working in the construction industry or working outdoors.