How Outdoor Workers Can Stay Safe in Intense Summer Heat

Every year, outdoor workers all over the country suffer illnesses or injuries related to working long days under the sun. From rashes and dizziness to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, working during the hotter months can be dangerous. Summer is already a few weeks away, and with the yearly rise in average summer temperatures, this year is expected to bring record-breaking heat.

As such, we’ve created this quick guide for those of you who’ll be working outdoors in the intense Summer heat this year so you can stay healthy and most importantly safe.


The OSHA Initiative

Water, rest, and shade. These three words are OSHA’s  keys to heat safety for outdoor workers. OSHA recommends drinking water in fifteen-minute intervals when doing intense work under the sun, as well as resting when your body needs it. Finding shade and wearing light materials and hats are also important to maintain your health in safety outdoors.

Additionally, OSHA encourages workers to take it as slow and easy as possible on their first days working in the heat in order for their bodies to correctly adjust.


Symptoms to Watch For

It’s important to monitor yourself and other crew members for any signs or symptoms of serious heat illness, as outlined below.

Symptoms of Heatstroke

  • Skin that is dry, red, and hot to the touch
  • High temperature
  • Confusion

If not monitored and caught early, these symptoms of heat stroke can lead to fainting or even convulsions. In the event you notice these symptoms in a co-worker or yourself, immediately seek water, rest, and shade before informing a supervisor. Should fainting or convulsions occur, you may need to dial 911.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Skin that is hot and sweaty
  • Headache, weakness, and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramps and fast heartbeat

If not monitored and caught early, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke. If you notice these symptoms in either a co-worker or yourself, seek water, rest, and shade, before alerting a supervisor.


When to Reach Out

It is crucial to remember that as an outdoor worker, you are entitled to safe and hazard-free workplace. Working in intense heat without adequate water, rest, or shade can lead to serious illness and injuries and is considered a hazard to your safety. If appropriate measures aren’t taken by your employer to remedy hazards, reach out to OSHA as soon as possible.

It’s highly important to also know your rights as a worker and when to rely on worker’s comp, especially in matters of your health and safety. In addition to knowing your rights, it’s also important to turn to an experienced attorney who can help you navigate further steps.

At Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano, your safety and rights are important to us, and we are always ready and willing to assist in the event of a claim. For more information, contact us today.

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