With summertime in full swing here in Tennessee, temperatures are reaching new highs with little end in sight. These high temperatures and humidity combine to increase the heat index, making the great outdoors feel anything but great. For our landscapers, construction teams, and homeowners out there, here are a few quick tips and reminders to help keep you safe and cool during a heat wave.

While working outdoors can be an enjoyable time, the heat of summer can be dangerous on an outdoor jobsite. To avoid heat-related illness affecting you or your employees, make sure you are aware of the signs of heat stress. According to the CDC, weakness, nausea, headache, dizziness, thirst, and heavy sweating are some of the most prominent signs to look out for. To make sure your team stays safe, it is always a good practice to stay updated on first aid procedures for heat-related illness, such as drinking fluids, removing the affected person from the heat, and seeking treatment at a medical facility. For a full list of heat-related illness symptoms and first aid procedures, visit the CDC’s heat stress page.

The best way to protect your team from heat stress symptoms is to prevent it altogether. OSHA recommends acclimating employees to working in warmer outdoor temperatures to avoid any sudden cases of heat stress. While working outdoors, make sure everyone on the team is drinking plenty of fluids like water or sports drinks while reducing caffeine intake to remain hydrated. Before heading out to the jobsite, be sure to bring along extra water bottles or fill up your water cooler. Taking frequent breaks, working in air conditioned or shaded areas when possible, and using fans are more ways to keep cool and prevent heat stress.  For more heat safety recommendations for jobsites, check out OSHA’s heat exposure page here.

While warmer summer temps will be sticking around for a little longer, we hope these tips help you and your team stay cool and safe while getting the job done.

Resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, June 6). Heat Stress Related Illness. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html.
United States Department of Labor. Heat – Overview: Working in Outdoor and Indoor Heat Environments. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/heat-exposure.