Heat illnesses are a real risk to workers in the summer

In the summer, heat is dangerous to construction workers. It's normal for them to quickly tire, get dehydrated or even develop heat sickness as a result of the mercury rising.

One question companies need to ask is how to keep their workers safe in the sun. The primary way is to provide a way to get cool — at least temporarily — at the job site. Without this, workers are more at risk for workplace accidents. Here are a few tips for keeping workers safer from heat-related accidents this summer.

1. Keep an eye on the weather

Heat and humidity matter. Higher humidity makes workers sweat incessantly and run the risk of dehydration. On hot, humid days, workers may need more breaks in cooled environments like air-conditioned vehicles or indoor areas.

2. Consider age, tolerance and physical condition

Heat illnesses can affect anyone, but those with a reduced tolerance to heat may struggle more in the summer months. Older workers, along with those not in peak physical condition, could struggle to stay comfortable in the heat and become ill.

3. Train workers on heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Training workers to recognize heat stroke and heat exhaustion helps them save each others' lives. When workers begin to feel overheated, they need to sit down, cool off and drink water. If they feel dizzy or don't start feeling cooler after spending time in air-conditioned environments, then it's a good idea to call an ambulance.

With safety precautions like keeping water on site and encouraging training in heat safety, construction workers can remain safer on the job.

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