5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Outdoor jobsites rarely see ideal temperatures, especially during the dog days of summer.

Workers may spend hours under the sun, which can be a huge health hazard if certain safety procedures aren’t taken. Surviving the hottest days of the year sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Here are five easy ways to beat the heat at a site:

1. Drink plenty of fluids
You probably hear it all the time, but drinking fluids is the easiest and best way to beat the heat. If you wait to drink fluids until you’re thirsty, you’re probably too late and already dehydrated. Forcing yourself to drink some cool water every hour, or a healthy beverage (no soda or alcohol), can literally save your life during extreme temperatures.

2. Dress accordingly
Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing to help stay cool. If possible, find clothing and protective gear with moisture wicking properties. If you’re working in an area exposed to direct sunlight, wear sunglasses or protective shades to protect your eyes.

3. Rest
If something with your body doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Find a cool area and sit down, even if it’s just for a minute or two. Don’t be afraid to admit that the heat is too much for you to handle. If your boss is a decent human being, he/she will allow you an extra short break or two during times of extreme heat. Remember: If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody will do it for you.

4. Eat properly
Almost everyone knows how important it is to drink fluids when they are out in the heat, but some people forget about eating. Although it’s important to never overeat, especially when it’s super hot outside, it is important to never skip meals. Food is one way your body recovers from the stress of hot conditions.

5. Call 911
Just because you know how to beat the heat, doesn’t mean your co-worker will. It is important for everyone to know what to do at his or her workplace in case of an emergency. If it’s extremely hot outside and a co-worker seems disoriented, call 911 immediately because they may be suffering a heat stroke. While you’re waiting for paramedics to get to the scene, attempt to move the co-worker to a cooler area, remove any unnecessary clothing, provide drinking water and turn on a fan in their direction, or mist them with water.

Editor’s Note: Brian Ethridge is the online managing editor for sister magazines Better Roads and Aggregates Manager.

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