Summer is an ideal time for construction but a challenging moment for construction workers. Working in scorching conditions poses a significant risk to any individual, but the risk tends to be greater for construction workers who are usually outside, exposed to the heat and working very hard. Every summer, construction workers become ill on the job to the extent that some lose their lives due to extreme heat exposure. Construction companies should ensure that their employees are well trained and educated on the safety measures they should undertake when such working conditions arise on a job site.
Effects of Heat Exposure on Construction Workers
Working under extreme heat and hard physical labor causes the body to lose more water through sweating. Losing water through sweating leads to an imbalance of body fluids, a condition known as dehydration, which construction workers are very likely to face during summer. Some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration that a construction worker shows include:
- Excessive thirst
Due to direct exposure to the sun and extreme heat, construction workers often experience sunburns during summer. On most individuals, sunburns are detected by a painful reddening of the skin, swelling the skin, and the development of sunburn blisters in extreme cases.
During summer, construction workers are likely to develop heat-related illnesses from prolonged exposure to hot temperatures. These illnesses include heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses vast amounts of water and salt through sweating, while heat cramps strike when the body loses excess body fluids and salt. Heatstroke is more dangerous when it occurs, as the body loses its ability to cool itself effectively.
Safety Tips for Construction Workers During Summer
To protect construction workers from the effects caused by extreme heat exposure, construction companies should ensure that their employees undertake the following safety procedures:
Construction employees should dress appropriately for the hot weather. The dressing should be light-colored clothes that are loose fitting and lightweight. Workers should always wear sunglasses to prevent damage their eyes. Additionally, they should protect their necks from the heat by covering them with a light-colored scarf. With this dressing, the employees will be in a better position to prevent themselves from heat injuries.
Drink a Lot of Water
Drinking a lot of water is the best way to prevent the body from dehydration. During summer, construction workers should ensure that they have enough drinking water on the construction site. It is the role of a construction company to ensure that water is at a close distance to the workers to quench their thirst whenever a need arises.
Take More Breaks When Necessary
More breaks should be provided to construction workers during the summer to help protect them from extreme heat and humidity. Construction companies should build shade structures where the employees can cool down and drink water to lower their body temperatures.
Plan for the Working Hours
During a summer heat wave, it is especially necessary to plan out working hours. When possible, create a schedule that will avoid work during the hottest hours of the day. Encourage the workers to work during the morning and evening hours, and allow them to rest during the hot afternoon hours.
Educate Your Workers
Construction companies should ensure that they train their team on the effects of heat exposure and the safety measures they should undertake when such a condition arises. This will help reduce the effects caused by exposure to heat and sunlight.
Adherence to the set rules will help reduce the injuries caused by heat exposure to construction workers. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that they follow the steps to remain healthy and fit.