Summer Construction Safety Tips

Summer is in full swing which means heat and humidity are in full swing. Midwest summers are some of the hottest in the country and it is of vital importance to ensure that you and your entire crew are safe. According to a recent study, Ohio ranks as the 13th most humid state in the country and the average July temperature is around 87°. With those numbers, it does not take much to become overheated and extremely ill.

Here are 6 Summer Construction Safety Tips to keep your entire crew is thriving this summer!

Summer Construction Safety Tips Hydrate

The single most important thing you can do is stay hydrated by drinking water. Keep water at a close distance, easily accessible, and take frequent hydration breaks. OSHA recommends drinking roughly a quart of water per hour and to avoid energy and caffeinated drinks. Drinking copious amounts of water is the easiest way to keep your body from overheating and becoming dehydrated.

Sun Protection

Wearing the correct clothing and regularly apply sunscreen are paramount to staying safe while working in the heat. Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing that wicks sweat and heat while blocking harmful UV rays. Also consider cooling apparel such as vests and hard hats with cooling systems built in.

Summer Construction Safety Tips Take Breaks

Taking frequent breaks can prevent your body from reaching such a high temperature that it cannot cool itself back down and help you better prepare to deal with the heat during work time.

Summer Construction Safety Tips Utilize Shade

Whenever and wherever possible, utilize shade. Whether it is during a break or while working, shade helps avoid direct exposure to the sun and keeps you cooler. Try rotating crew members in and out of shade to give everyone a break from the sun. If there is no natural shade on the jobsite, consider setting up tents or canopies.

Heat Stress

• Heavy Sweating
• Dizziness
• Muscle Cramps
• Headache
• Rapid Heartrate
• Goosebumps on skin

If you experience these symptoms, get out of the heat and sun as immediately, drink cold water, and apply cold, damp towel to your neck.

Summer Construction Safety Tips Adjust Schedule

If possible, adjust the work schedule to allow working during the coolest points of the day and avoid the warmest portions. Some examples:
• Starting the day sooner and avoiding the later afternoon heat.
• Starting earlier, taking long break during the afternoon heat, resuming in the cooler evening.

If the scheduled cannot be flexed:
• Consider saving any inside work for the warmest portion of the day and/or the warmest days overall.
• Perform the most physically demanding jobs during the cooler portions of the day.

For more information and additional summer construction safety tips, check out OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Campaign.
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