The winter months might not seem so long ago, but summer is getting into full swing, which means that temperatures are going to soar. This can be a challenging environment for outdoor workers, with threats such as heat exhaustion ready to put you out of commission for days or more. Fortunately, there are several preventative steps that workers in the construction industry (and other outdoor professions) can take to stay safe and comfortable while working during the summer months. We're happy to share some tips so that you can beat the heat safely this season!
Wear lightweight and breathable clothing to keep cool
While you may not be able to wear short sleeves on the job, it's important to stay comfortable by wearing lightweight and breathable clothing. By choosing thin clothing made of moisture-wicking fabrics such as cotton or linen, you can avoid the discomfort of a sweaty shirt sticking to your skin. Just make sure that you choose something that is rated for sun protection and is suitable for the hazards of your workplace. Breathable clothing can also help regulate your body temperature and prevent you from feeling like you're suffocating in the heat. The right clothing will go a long way in making your workday bearable!
Put on sunscreen!
For those working in construction, it's especially important to put on sunscreen. Spending long hours outside in direct sunlight can take a toll on your skin, leading to burns, premature aging, or even skin cancer. Remember that harmful UV rays can reach your skin and cause damage, even on cloudy days. By taking a few minutes to apply sunscreen before starting your day, you can protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays and prevent long-term skin damage. For those long shifts, don't forget to reapply throughout the day for maximum protection!
Drink plenty of fluids - especially water - to stay hydrated
While on the job, it's important to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. This means reaching for water or other high-electrolyte beverages before any other drink. Other beverages like iced coffee or soda can actually dehydrate you further, making it harder to stay energized and focused on the job. By keeping a water bottle on hand and taking regular breaks to sip on it throughout the day, you can ensure you're keeping your body nourished and running at its best potential (It's better to drink regularly than wait until you're thirsty). So next time you're on the job site, remember to prioritize your hydration and drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Take frequent breaks in a shaded area or indoors if possible
Working in construction can be physically demanding, and it's especially important to not push yourself during hot weather. One of the most crucial things you can do is take frequent breaks in a shaded area or indoors if possible. Not only will taking breaks keep you healthy and safe, but it can also improve productivity by allowing you to recharge and return to the job with renewed energy, keeping you in top form all day. So whether you're laying bricks, pouring concrete, or performing any other construction task, make sure to prioritize your health and take those much-needed breaks.
Use a cooling towel or bandanna around your neck to help regulate body temperature
One way to help keep your body temperature steady is getting a piece of cloth wet and placing it around your neck. This simple but effective method can help lower body temperature and reduce the risk of overheating. Special cooling towels are designed to be soaked in water and then squeezed out to provide a cooling effect that can last for hours. By simply wrapping one around your neck, where blood flows close to the surface, you can help regulate your body temperature and keep cool on the job site. So next time you have to work in the heat, get yourself a trusty cooling towel!
Beat the heat with JAPA
When it comes to operating heavy or light construction equipment during the hot summer days, one thing is an absolute must: Air Conditioning! JAPA has you covered. Almost all of our rental fleet and equipment for sale comes with ROPS cabins, complete with AC to keep the air flowing and keep you cool on those hot days. Many pieces also include sun shades and fans. And if you’re either renting from JAPA or one of your own machines has an air conditioning issue or failure, we have an AC specialist on staff who can meet you out in the field and keep the cool air flowing!
The heat during the summer months can be relentless, especially for outdoor workers in the construction industry. Following these simple tips – wearing lightweight and breathable clothing, slapping on some sunscreen, drinking lots of fluids, taking frequent breaks, and using a cooling towel or bandanna - will help you to beat the heat. For top-quality heavy machinery rentals (including air-conditioned machines), contact us at JAPA! We'll get you exactly what you need, both for the job and for the weather!