There’s always a boom in construction work during the summer, but that doesn’t mean the hot weather comes without its hazards. Here are 4 simple construction summer safety tips from our Calgary temp agency to keep you protected from the temperature spike.
Health and safety are extremely important in all industries, but this is especially true when you are in the construction business. Such companies must take extra care to make safety their top priority because failing to do so can have many unfortunate consequences, such as:
- serious injuries and fatalities
- project delays
- loss of productivity
- loss of profits
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4 Dangers of Working In the Sun
Working in extremely hot conditions can be dangerous for anyone, but this escalates for construction workers who spend all day outside. That’s why it’s essential for construction companies to have safety policies in place to keep workers protected.
What are the dangers of working in the heat?
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun’s rays is one of the main concerns during summertime construction, as it can cause a number of serious health problems. These include:
- Skin Cancer - Most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to UV radiation. If construction workers are constantly exposed to sunlight without protection, then their risk of developing skin cancer significantly increases.
- Eye Problems - Chronic exposure to UV radiation can lead to many serious eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration which can affect one’s vision.
- Weakened Immune System - UV radiation can suppress proper functioning of the body’s immune system and weaken the skin’s natural defences.
- Heat Exhaustion And Severe Sunburns - These are the two most dangerous parts of working outdoors in the summer and both require medical attention as quickly as possible.
4 Summer Safety Tips For Construction Workers
While the risk of outdoor workers developing skin cancer or other sun-related illnesses may seem remote in comparison to other dangers posed by their everyday job duties, it’s important to do all you can to reduce the risk of harm from sun exposure.
Here are four simple changes you can make at your worksite to keep your employees sun-safe:
- Switch up the schedule - If possible, try to schedule outdoor work shifts outside of 10am - 4pm, when the UV rays tend to be strongest.
- Take a break - Schedule regular breaks. Make sure there’s a place for employees to get out of the sun and into the shade, such as a cooling centre, shelter, or tent.
- Be aware of the environment - Some surfaces such as glass, water, and sand reflect UV rays and can intensify workers’ exposure to them. UV rays are also stronger at higher altitudes. You may not be able to change these conditions, but you should be aware that they can pose additional risks and you should increase protection accordingly.
- Plan for conditions - The UV index provides a forecast of UV levels in your area and ranks the danger of exposure on a scale from low to extreme. Use this to schedule outdoor shifts at a time when danger is lowest.
How To Stay Safe On Site
Educating Your Employees on Summertime Safety
Apart from incorporating the above safety tips on your construction site, you should schedule regular safety meetings to give your employees tips on how to prevent overexposure to UV radiation.
1. Wearing Sunscreen
When working outdoors, your employees should be using sunscreen regularly. They should use a broad spectrum one with an SPF of at least 15. In addition, they should re-apply the sunscreen every two hours as it will wear off as your employees work and sweat.
2. Using Protective Clothing
Summertime is not usually the time when people want to bundle up but keeping skin covered is a good way to protect from UV radiation. Outdoor workers should wear:
- Long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Dark colours to block out UV light
- A hat with a wide brim
- A shade cap with fabric that drapes from the sides and back and covers the neck
3. Wearing Sunglasses
Workers should wear sunglasses that are specifically labelled as UV-blocking, in a wraparound style that will protect from rays coming from all directions.
Matrix Labor Leasing is one of the leading temp agencies in Calgary and our top priority is promoting safety on construction sites. We partner with various businesses to eliminate unsafe practices that can not only lead to lost profits and damaged inventory but can also seriously harm your employees.
Want to know more?
For more summertime construction safety tips, or to find out how Matrix can help enhance the safety measures on your site, contact us today at 1-866-666-9520 or fill in our online contact form.