Outdoor Construction and Summer Heat Safety

2009_Heat Safety_SunDo you know how to beat the heat on your outdoors construction site this year? Working outdoors in the heat of the summer can put you and your co-workers in danger. If you are not knowledgeable on the ways to ensure you don’t reach the point of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, you need to be!

Everyone who works in the outdoors during the summer heat –young or old – is at risk. On your steel building construction site, if you have not yet received your WHMIS or equivalent training, get it. Employers must ensure that all supervisors and workers are trained to buddy up, watch for, and recognize the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond.

The warning signs and hazards of heat stress, as given by the Ministry of Labour are:

  • Heat Rash: An uncomfortable, severely itchy and red bumpy rash
  • Sunburn:  Painful, red or blistery skin that can cause skin cancer
  • Heat Cramps: painful muscle cramps caused when the electrolytes (body’s salts) are depleted through sweating, hard labour – especially dangerous because drinking water won’t help ease them and they can be the warning signs of more serious heat illness requiring medical treatment
  • Fainting: sudden loss of consciousness, clammy skin, weak pulse – immediate medical attention required to assess possible need for CPR
  • Heat exhaustion: Heavy sweating, weak pulse, hot skin, tired, weak, nausea, panting, blurred vision – Medical attention is required as can be in imminent danger of sudden heat stroke – which can kill.
  • Heat stroke: high body temperature, weak, confused, upset or acting strange, hot dry red skin, rapid pulse, dizziness, fainting, convulsions – Immediate medical attention is required as can rapidly lead to quick death if untreated.

Your WHMIS training could save you or a co-worker from unnecessary suffering (and perhaps embarrassment) and even death from something that is so preventable with a little knowledge and common sense. Its true; the human body is mostly made up of water, so losing even a little through sweat and exertion under the unrelenting heat of the summer sun and your body can easily experience heat stress – especially at the beginning of summer, if you have been off for more than a week or two, or if you are unused to working outdoors.

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1 Response to “Outdoor Construction and Summer Heat Safety”



  1. 1 Heat Safety Tips for the Construction site « Norsteel Trackback on June 26, 2009 at 5:07 am

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