The summer months are really popular times for various construction projects as traffic and congestion usually lessens with the release of public schools, universities, and people leaving for vacations. However, while summer construction projects are normal, it is very important to be aware of the potential danger of workers spending extended hours out in the heat of the Texas sun. Follow these tips to help yourself and your crew stay healthy while still being productive on your summer construction projects.
Drinking ample amounts of water is crucial for your body to work properly, especially when you are out in the heat. Consider this: it is medically recommended that an individual drink an average of 64 ounces of water on a normal day, but working in the sun requires you to boost your water intake well beyond that amount.
Beyond just drinking water, adding electrolytes to your beverage intake is super important as well. There are several options on the market that are healthy approaches to staying hydrated while you are out in the sun all day, and you should be aware of some very popular choices that you should stay away from.
Products like DayLyte or Lyteshow are clinically tested and proven to increase hydration over plain water. Researchers have found that these “can minimize carrying excessive weight, possibly reducing fatigue during extended exercise.” Simply adding a few drops of these choices to your water bottle can create an increased hydration experience.
Saltsticks, which are high sodium capsules, were created by a chemist/triathlon athlete and are a great option as well. Replenishing your sodium levels that become depleted as you work out in the heat is very important, but sports drinks could not possibly maintain a decent taste while including what you really need in the process. The capsules are a great resource to help you get the sodium you need while not having to endure an overly salty flavored beverage.
While you will see an abundance of Gatorade and Powerade products on store shelves and at sporting events, you should be aware of what companies develop these beverages. PepsiCola owns Gatorade, and Coca-Cola own Powerade. Neither of these companies have reputations for high health standards for their consumers, and while everyone can enjoy a soda from time to time, it can be detrimental to your physical health to not properly hydrate when working for long hours in the heat. Both of these products have a laundry list of ingredients that can be harmful to your body. No matter what setting you are in, always be aware of the ingredients you are consuming.
Listen to Your Body
It is very easy to feel the need to push through the work when you start to feel strange. However, not taking the proper steps when you are suffering from heat over exposure could seriously cost you. The signs of a heat related illness can be increased heart rate, increased body temperature, nausea, fainting, muscle spasms, and more. The best thing you can do if you start to experience any of these symptoms is to get out of the direct sun and into some shade, re-hydrate and replenish electrolytes, and do not work further until your muscle cramping ends. For severe symptoms of vomiting, fever of 103 and above, or fainting, call 911 and do not consume anything to drink. A legitimate heat stroke is a medical emergency and should not be brushed off.
When working outside in the summer, it is very important to have ample amounts of water on hand for everyone that might need it, and it is ideal to have some shade that can be rested in. These basic precautions could prevent a serious problem for you or someone on your crew. For more summer construction tips visit T. F. Harper & Associates LP, an Austin construction company.