Five Tips for Construction Workers to Handle Extreme Weather

According to the United States Department of Labor, construction workers are one of the professions most susceptible to heat-related illness. With current temperatures in many parts of the country regularly exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s important for employers and employees alike to take steps to prevent heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses.

#1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
The most important thing construction workers can do to prevent heat illness is to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or a sports drink. It’s important to drink fluids even if you’re not thirsty; by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drinking small amounts of fluids frequently is better than drinking large amounts all at once.

#2. Take Frequent Breaks
When working in extreme heat, it’s important to take frequent breaks in a cool or shaded area. This will give your body a chance to recover from the heat and prevent your core temperature from rising too high.

#3. Wear the Right Clothing
Wearing loose, light-colored clothing made from breathable fabric will help keep you cooler than if you were wearing dark, heavy clothing. If possible, try to find clothing that has built-in SPF protection; this will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

#4. It’s Not a Race! Pace Yourself
In extreme heat, it’s important not to try to do too much too quickly. Pacing yourself will help you avoid becoming overheated and will also make sure that you don’t make any mistakes due to fatigue. Mistakes can cost money, time and more importantly lives. So keep track of your pacing and don’t try to accomplish everything at once.

#5. Know the Signs of Heat Illness
Finally, it’s important to know the signs of heat illness so that you can identify them in yourself and in your co-workers. The early signs of heat stroke include dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath. If you or someone you’re working with starts experiencing these symptoms, stop what you’re doing and move to a cool or shaded area immediately. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a supervisor.

By following these five tips, construction workers can stay safe and healthy while working in extreme heat. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, take frequent breaks, wear loose light-colored clothing, pace yourself, and know the signs of heat illness.

Photos: – Pavel Chernonogov; – Pixabay