Summer in the Midwest is a wonderful time of the year. The days are longer, and the weather is warmer — the busiest construction season of the year. It is also a time when general contractors and subcontractors need to add extra safety practices for their crew from the dangers of summer.
Heat-related illnesses, such as sunburn, heatstroke, and dehydration, are major concerns for employees working outdoors. They can lead to fatigue and could cause human error and pose a safety risk. And a lack of hydration can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms include excessive sweating, nausea, dizziness, clammy skin, and headaches. Without treatment, heat exhaustion will set in when the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees and can lead to death.
Keep Your Workers Hydrated
Provide your workers with plenty of water throughout the day, and make sure it’s cold water to regulate the body temperature. OSHA guidelines say that water must be provided when the outside temperature reaches 103 or higher. Additional water breaks should be accounted for in the scheduling. Whenever possible, and safe, allow the workers to carry around their own supply of water to have it in reach.
Have a Contingency Plan
Although summer is the ideal season for construction, it can also present its fair share of extreme weather situations. Weather patterns can change in an instant, without notice, and keeping your work site safe means educating everyone on how to take shelter in an emergency. Hold emergency drills, keep everyone in the loop about impending weather, and establish a liaison to be in charge of communications if there happens to be a serious weather emergency such as a tornado or severe thunderstorm.
Schedule Workers Accordingly
The hottest hours of the day are usually between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on summer days. While nobody wants to get up at sunrise to work a construction job, it may be a way to make up for taking off during those hours. This is also a good window to schedule indoor meetings, extended lunch breaks, and shift changes.
Stretch and Bend
Working construction takes plenty of physical stamina, but even the strongest employees can feel a little slower in the summer heat. Stretching can give workers the physical tools they need to take care of their bodies and prevent job-related injuries.
Work with Professionals
Whether you’re a contractor, subcontractor, project manager, or business owner, you need to make sure that you’re working with a commercial construction team that is transparent about its safety policies.
Albrite Building recognizes the responsibilities and is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment. Our continued success relies heavily on the participation and cooperation of our employee’s effective safety program.
If you are looking for a general contractor or construction crew, contact Albrite Building for all of your construction needs. Our construction company specializes in building, remodeling, and more. We are located at 777 Oakmont Lane, Suite 50, Westmont, Illinois 60559. You can contact our office by phone at 630.655.9436.