Tips to Avoid Heat Related Illness While Planning Your Outdoor Project
Whether you’re tackling a home renovation this summer or simply doing some yardwork, it’s important to prevent heat related illness. As we know well in the commercial construction world, when you’re working in the dog days of summer, you are especially at risk for heat exhaustion and related illness because of the demanding nature of the job and lengthy exposure to heat and humidity. We are passing on seven tips on how to stay cool on the job, from the experts at Construct Connect, who are always working on construction sites in hot temperatures.
When you’re planning your project, you want to be fully prepared for the heat. This means that when you’re purchasing the materials you need for the job, and ordering your dumpster, you should also add in water and sports drinks, sunscreen, and make sure you have appropriate clothing. Time management will be essential during the dog days of summer to ensure you are working at the appropriate time of day, and that you’re not prolonging your exposure to heat and humidity. Take a look at the weather forecast and understand what the heat index means. Be prepared to take action if you or those helping you with the project are exhibiting signs of heat related illnesses.
Drink lots of fluids! Hydrate with water every 15-20 minutes. Coconut water and sports drinks can help restore electrolytes. Avoid coffee, sodas, and alcohol!
Get used to the heat gradually. Construct Connect recommends beginning with a 50% workload and gradually working up to a full workload over the next five to seven days so your body can acclimate to the heat and activity.
Dress appropriately. Light colored, cotton, and clothing with moisture wicking technology is ideal to help prevent overheating.
Start early! Get to your project early in the morning so you can plan to be out of the heat during the hottest part of the day, which is usually between 3:00 and 6:00 pm
Find shade. Take regular breaks in a shaded area, especially if you are feeling overheated. If you have air conditioning nearby, that is also a great place to cool down.
Be sun-safe! Lather up with sunscreen even if it’s cloudy! Sweatproof and waterproof sunscreen is important so you don’t sweat it off the minute you start working. Don’t forget a hat!
Know the signs. Heat-related illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stress and heatstroke. The CDC has a list of extreme heat related symptoms and treatments here.
When you are looking at starting an outdoor project this summer, planning ahead is essential, so contact us today to order your dumpster rental or inquire about our dump truck service. We can also help with your recycling needs if your project requires LEED or DC Green certification. For more tips and information on how to stay safe in extreme heat while working outdoors this summer, check out Construct Connect’s post.