Staying Safe on a Summer Construction Site

Morning Sun. Image Source: Public Domain.

Most employers take great pains to ensure worker safety in the office and on site, and you can count Norsteel among them. Working outdoors can be dangerous any time of year, but there are particular safety precautions that should be met when working in a construction zone during the summer months.

Here are a few things to consider.

First and foremost, it is important that workers avoid excessive heat exposure which can result in sun stroke, rashes, headaches and fatigue.  Common symptoms include confusion, an inability to concentrate and excessive sweating.

According to the United States Department of Occupational Health and Safety Administration, one way to get workers ready for the hot summer months is to acclimatize them by having small teams work in hot environments from progressively longer periods.  This however, may not always be practical, so there are other precautions that should be considered.

It is important that workers have a designated “cooling area” to relax and rehydrate with a cold glass of water.  It is a foreman’s job to monitor his or her workers during the hot summer months and ensure that workers are taking their scheduled breaks.  Workers who are wearing dark, heavy clothing or working at a high energy level in excessive heat should be paid close attention.

Workers should try to remain hydrated by taking small sips every fifteen minutes or so.  While water is best, most cool liquids will do, with the exception of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, both of which are dehydrating.

Jobs that physically demanding – such as heavy lifting or operating large objects – should be saved for early morning or late evening, when the temperature is cooler.

Workers should always dress to accommodate the heat by wearing light-coloured, breathable clothing, hats and sunglasses (when hard hats and safety goggles are not required) and ample amounts of sunscreen, which should be re-applied frequently throughout the workday.


1 Response to “Staying Safe on a Summer Construction Site”

  1. 1 kenneth August 26, 2011 at 3:05 am

    My site actually had a “cooling area” this summer, I had never seen that before. Every 45 minutes or so we were forced to take a 5 minute break there to rehydrate. I didn’t hate it!

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