Stay Safe & Cool This Summer!
As summer temperatures spike, it’s more important than ever to stay cool on the job. OSHA emphasizes three key words during summer: water, rest, and shade. Here are some OSHA-approved tips for how to stay cool in hot weather while working outside:
- Water is not an option—workers should consume at least 8-15 ounces of cool water every 20 minutes and avoid energy and caffeinated drinks. OSHA suggests drinking about a quart an hour.
- Avoid frequent in and out actions of air-conditioned environments. That said, if you feel overheated, take a break and look for shade or A/C to stabilize your core temperature and revitalize your body.
- Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing that wicks away sweat and heat from the body while blocking harmful UV rays. Check out cooling apparel – vests filled with liquid designed to stay cool and are stored in a freezer or hard hats with cooling systems built in. Or you can go old-school by using wet bandanas from the freezer. Keep a few in your ice chest on the job site and rotate them throughout the day.
- Adjust the construction schedule. Strenuous and hotter jobs should be scheduled in early mornings or late evenings.
- Many Texans and those in warmer climates have high heat tolerances, but it is best to know what the heat index is to protect yourself and your team. Download OSHA’s app at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html to monitor heat indexes and give reminders about protective actions to take.