Road and construction work usually increase in number in the peak of summer. For contractors, this translates to more hours working under high temperatures. This makes heatstroke prevention so important. Supervisors should learn to recognize the signs of a possible heatstroke and have a procedure in place for minimizing heat-related injuries and illnesses.
Recognize Signs of Heat Injuries
Identify the symptoms of an incoming heatstroke. Train the crew members to recognize the signs in themselves and in their fellow workers. One common sign is the appearance of heat rashes that manifest as a cluster of blister-like bumps on the skin. It may also include cramping in the torso or extremities. These are the signs associated with electrolyte loss caused by excessive sweating. Be sure to take regular breaks with a designated rest area with shade and water available.
Schedule Heavy and Light Work Periods
It’s usually the hottest outside between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM and is coolest between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Schedule work periods so members engage in rigorous physical labor during the morning. Reserve less physical work, such as excavator operation, during the afternoon.
Pay Attention to the Heat Index
The heat index is a measurement of the temperature when you factor in the humidity. It also takes into account other factors like wind speeds and the degree of physical activity. To keep heatstroke at bay, look up the projected heat index the day prior and plan according to the expected measurement.
Wear Breathable Clothing
Encourage team members to wear light-colored fabric clothing made of cotton or rayon. We also suggest wearing breathable trousers and footwear. Another way you can stay cool is to wear vests with pockets for storing ice or cold packs. This can offset some heat retention caused by donning hardhats and reflector vests.
Make Heatstroke Prevention Training a Priority in Des Moines
Come by Active Excavator Rentals for excavators and breaker and hoe packs. Learn about us and what we provide. Summers in the Pacific Northwest can be sweltering. Whatever the nature of the project, heatstroke prevention should always be a safety protocol.
Summer Heatstroke Prevention in Des Moines
Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley, Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore