Summer is here, and for plenty of people, that means lots of opportunities for enjoying the beautiful San Joaquin Valley and the surrounding natural areas. But if you have to be outside working day after day, that gorgeous sunshine can be a major safety risk, exposing workers to heat exhaustion and even life-threatening heat stroke.
If your business has outdoor workers, here are some safety tips you can follow to keep them safe:
- Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most dangerous of the heat-related illnesses, and it can cause unconsciousness, permanent disability and death very rapidly. The most common signs of heat stroke are hot, dry skin, lack of perspiration, nausea and vomiting, throbbing headache, dizziness and confusion, and you don’t have to show all of these symptoms to be in trouble. If a worker exhibits any of these signs, place them in shady area and cool them down with a hose, cool compresses or a tub of cool water and call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Keep lots of cool water on hand. Workers should drink from 2-4 cups of water every hour during work time to stay hydrated. Proper hydration is an important safety tip, enabling the body to cool itself off.
- Make sure workers take plenty of breaks – in the shade. If there’s no natural shade, use artificial shade sources like canopies or lots of large umbrellas.
- Provide workers with light-colored uniforms or make sure they wear their own light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect the sun instead of absorbing the heat. Keep fabrics lightweight for better airflow and to enable the body to stay cool.
- Don’t forget hats. A lightweight, sturdy hat provides safety protection for the head and brain, not to mention preventing sunburn on the neck, face and scalp. Plus, a brimmed hat cuts down on accident-causing glare.
- Try to schedule work during the early morning hours and late afternoon and evening. These are the times when the sun’s heat is less intense and the rays of the sun are less direct. That doesn’t mean the risk of heat stroke is eliminated, but it can be minimized during these times.
One more tip: Be sure your workers comp insurance policy is up to date. Heat-related illnesses and other workplace illnesses and injuries can be devastating for your workers, and for your business as well. Having adequate workers comp insurance provides peace of mind for employees and employers, and making sure you have ample coverage takes just a few minutes. To make sure your business has the workers comp coverage it needs, call Basi Insurance today at 877-590-4826 and have your policy reviewed.