Beat Summer Heat! With the summer knocking on the door, are you wondering whether it is safe enough to go on with your DIY or professional construction project in the scorching heat? Rather than stopping your construction work, you can take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and the other people safe on a construction site, even when the temperature creeps towards and above 90 degrees. Taking all necessary safety precautions is essential, because heat stroke can be dangerous and even fatal, and simple heat stress can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and other problems, which will not only make the work inefficient, but also dangerous.
Here Is What To Do To Beat The Heat During Construction Work:
- Stay hydrated. This is absolutely compulsory if you want to stay safe, healthy and efficient while working in construction in the scorching summer heat. Make sure you intake sufficient quantities of water or other liquids, such as electrolyte drinks. To add to the benefits of the water intake, you can add lemon slices or several spoons of salt. The former will make the water more enjoyable, and the latter will help replace the salt lost during perspiration.
- Refrain from drinking energy drinks, such as Red Bull or others, and stay away from any carbonated and sugary beverages altogether. Also, do not drink caffeinated beverages, as they are diuretics and will only increase the risk of your body becoming dehydrated.
- Take it easy with the lunch and the snacks. Avoid eating a high calorie lunch or junk food, because it will cause an overload of your digestive system, and further stress to your body. Instead, eat a big and nutritious breakfast, and have some fruits or veggies for lunch.
- Keep in mind that our bodies follow their Circadian rhythms. Make sure that you and the other people on the site are alert at all times, because the urge to nap can be unproductive and dangerous on a construction site. The urge for an afternoon nap can be decrease if you refrain from eating a big and filling lunch, and replace it with a light one instead. Of course, you may want to take a short break for a rest and even a nap in the hottest hours, similar to the “Siesta” tradition which South European countries follow, especially if you are working on a DIY project and can decide the work hours for yourself.
- Work in the cooler hours. Plan your construction work for the cooler hours, in the days of extreme heat. If possible, do it at night, or schedule pre-dawn or earlier shifts to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
- Be careful when walking in and out of AC spaces and extreme heat. Make sure you change from your soaked shirts if you need to work in an air conditioned space.
- Ensure that there is shade whenever possible. Use umbrellas, canopies or others. Make sure you and the others are wearing sun block, and also wear wide brimmed hats, long sleeves, cooling vests or bandanas to protect your skin and body from the direct sunlight.
- Wear clothes which breathe and provide a cooling effect as they absorb the sweat. You should wear lighter colors which reflect the sun.
- Make sure people on the site keep an eye on one another for any signs of heat stress or heat stroke, such as: disorientation, lethargy, slurred speech, dropping tools, stumbling and other worrying symptoms. These can lead to dangerous and even fatal incidents and health impact.
- Know what to do in case of heat stress or stroke. Basically, you need to take the affected person to a shady or cooler place and raise their feet above the level of the head for better circulation. Provide cooling and remove any heavy work boots or gear. If the person becomes unconscious, call 911.
Written by M.Pierce: Mike is a writer, outdoorsman and the founder of Mybootprint – a website that helps its readers choose quality work boots wisely. He is a DIY enthusiast, and also manages ShoeMatters – both sites dedicated to help people find high quality footwear for their needs.