Heat Safety Tips for the Construction site

Thinking cool just don't cut it!

When thinking cool just isn't enough!

In our last blog, we talked about Outdoors Construction and Summer Heat Safety. Given this weeks beautiful hot temperatures and the reporting of the first heat related construction death (Rogers, Arkansas), now is definitely a good time to discuss what to do to ensure a safe working environment on the construction site.  

Everyone knows that heat-related illness and deaths are preventable, yet thousands of seemingly healthy people succumb each year to extreme heat. In Toronto, according to EnviroZine, there is an average of 38 extremeheat-related deaths a year.

On a construction site, everyone who works in the outdoors or in a stifling building during the summer heat is at risk and if your steel building construction site is not trained and monitored, it must be. The law requires all employers take the proper precautions. Basically, this means that during extreme heat, all construction sites must be armed with common sense measures to help activate the body’s natural cooling mechanisms and thus prevent heat-related illness.

Let’s go over again how you can prevent the potentially deadly heat-related health problems that can occur so quickly on a construction site.

Schedule Outdoors Activities Carefully – try to limit outdoor activities to the cooler hours of morning or evening. If you can’t, ensure that you take extra breaks and rest in shady areas to give your body time to cool down.

Pace Yourself – start slowly and then pick up the pace gradually. If your heart starts pounding and you find yourself struggling for breath, STOP all activity immediately. Take that break mentioned above and drink water often.

Replace body Salt and Minerals – Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body and must be replaced. Make sure that you drink two to four glasses of cool, non-caffeine, non-alcohol fluids an hour. 

Use the Buddy system – Call each other on stupid behaviour like missed breaks, or not hydrating often enough. You are your own best measure, but a buddy is the backup!

Just these 3 things can ensure your safety. But the most important tip you can receive is to use knowledge and common sense – and a buddy system to ensure that you do.

A couple more tips to keep you healthy in the heat: don’t eat a heavy lunch or hot foods – it’ll add heat to your body just when you least need it! Wear appropriate clothing, sunscreen, your construction hat, of course – and perhaps a bandanna that can be soaked often in water to help keep your head and neck cool.

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1 Response to “Heat Safety Tips for the Construction site”


  1. 1 Marie June 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Nice site and an interesting read – are you having fun with it? I like what you are doing here.


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