While jobsite safety is a year-round priority, landscape contractors too face unique challenges during the summer. Hot temperatures can cause body temperatures to rise to dangerous levels. This can be especially threatening if you’re working outside, but it’s equally important to stay cool indoors if you’re working in an area with limited air movement and no breeze. Thousands of workers suffer from heat illness each year. Environmental heat is a recognized hazard, that’s why prevention and planning is crucial. It’s not just the plants and your lawn that needs some tips for maintenance during the Summer season of course Landscape Contractors too needs some tips to prevent heat related during this season.
Here are 9 Tips to preventing heat related during summer:
- Stay Hydrated – Throughout the day stay hydrated by drinking lots water and an occasional sports drinks, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s better to drink small amounts frequently, as opposed to larger amounts less often. If you wait until you arrive on the jobsite to start drinking water, it’s too late. Be prepare ahead of time and avoid coffee in the morning, unless if you followed it by water. Also avoid soda or alcoholic beverages as they can be dehydrating. Make sure too that you bring water with you or ensure there will be water on site.
- Dress Cool – The body does normally cool down itself by sweating. That’s not enough during hot weather, especially with high humidity. When it comes to clothing, cotton and breathable material is advised. Avoid also polyester or materials that will cause you to sweat more. A hat, light-colored clothing and cool, moist rag on back of the neck is also helpful.
- Work in Shade – Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan some additional precautions for working in these conditions. The trees, awnings and tents will be your friends here.
- Take more frequent breaks – This is important for all workers like Landscaper Contractors, but especially for new ones. Allow them to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they adapt or build a tolerance for working in the heat. If you’re working in extreme heat, take breaks until you feel refreshed and good about going back to work.
- Get air circulation– When working during warm weather, try to keep the environment cool by getting air flow. Bring in some fans to allow air to circulate the area.
- Take a break in the car – If you really need to get into a cool area, take a break in your car with the air conditioning on, it’ll help you feel refreshed. During this time, drink water and allow your body to recover.
- Schedule work accordingly – Schedule to do more tough tasks during cooler times of the day and lighter work when the sun is out. This will not only protect you from heat related illnesses, but it’ll keep you and your team productive.
- Watch for symptoms of heat exhaustion – Heat exhaustion can often affect you before you even realize it, that’s why it’s important to be very aware of the signs. Workers suffering from heat exhaustion are at greater risk for having an incident, since they are less alert and can be confused. Heat exhaustion can lead to a heat stroke, so if you’re feeling dizzy, weakness, cramps, nausea or have a rapid heartbeat alert your supervisor, take a break, drink water, get out of direct sunlight and allow your body to recover.
- Let your body adjust – If you haven’t worked in hot weather for a week or longer, your body needs time to adjust. You need to take more breaks and not do too much tough work during your first weeks on the job.
Remember to develop a heat‐related illness prevention plan that will keep your team hydrated and healthy all summer long. You may be aware that it’s going to be hot but remember to prepare yourself for how hot it will be during scheduled work activities and use the information above to determine which preventive measures should be taken.Educating yourself and your team on how to stay safe in the hot summer months is very important.