Keeping Your Workers Safe in the Summer Heat


A summer day seems like an innocuous thing. Who wouldn’t want to step outside on a warm, clear summer day?

However, it’s one thing to take advantage of the sunshine by heading to the beach or taking a picnic to a park. It’s quite another to work in the scorching heat for an eight-hour shift.

The heat can get dangerous, with significant side effects and potential long-term ramifications: nausea, weakness, dizziness, fainting…even death. It’s important to recognize the risks of a working in the summer heat and protect your workers against the risks to their health.

Here are a few steps you can take to keep your team safe in the summer heat:

Provide Reminders

Because the dangers of heat build up over time, they can be easy to ignore at first. However, the health implications can accelerate quickly. Make sure your employees know the risks. Repeatedly remind them of what symptoms to look out for and detail the steps they can take to mitigate the situation.

Dress Properly

Ensure that everyone has dressed properly for the weather. You wouldn’t let your employees trudge outside in the bitter cold without a coat, hat, and gloves. Along the same lines, don’t let them toil in the hot sun without the proper attire. If you have a uniform or dress code, consider relaxing the rules on hot days, allowing things like shorts and t-shirts.

Keep Everyone Hydrated

One of the best ways to combat the summer heat is to stay hydrated. Make sure everyone drinks enough.

Encourage your workers to choose water over things like soda or coffee. Even better, provide the water yourself, making sure that there is plenty to go around and that the water stations are conveniently located. Depending on the situations, you might consider mandatory hydration breaks, where each employee is required to drink.

Don’t Overdo It

Don’t force a breakneck pace in a high-temperature situation. Workers should ease into their tasks when it gets hot, instead of jumping directly into strenuous activity. Schedule lots of breaks and allow employees to use their best judgment if they need to slow down, or even stop for a period to cool down.

Have a Place to Cool Off

It might not always be possible, but, when you can, provide a cooling station, where employees can take a short break and relieve the worst of the heat. Ideally, this would be an indoor, air-conditioned location. However, if that isn’t possible, someplace with some shade would provide at least some relief.

A commitment to safety should be the first priority for any company. Protecting your workers from all the dangers inherent in your business (including the heat) is not only the humane policy but ultimately leads to sustainable productivity and lower employee turnover.

Building a safe workforce involves finding the right people. Partnering with a top-flight staffing firm, like DHR, lets you bring in the competent, resourceful workers you need to maximize both safety and output.

Contact DHR today to find out more.

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