While every month should be National Safety Month, June is when it is officially observed by the National Safety Council. This is especially critical now that the summer heat has arrived in Florida.
If employees are impacted by the heat, it can cause anything from mild illness to serious injury or even death, particularly in industries that are based outdoors, like agriculture, construction and oil and gas operations.
To help you beat the heat and protect your workers, here are seven steps to keep employees safe and cool, despite rising temperatures:
#1: Acclimatize your workers to the heat.
Don’t let them suddenly go work outside – every day, all day – without being acclimatized to the heat first. You program should include giving your workers plenty of breaks and to regularly monitor them to ensure they’re not getting sick. This will give their bodies time to adjust, limiting risks and dangers related to the heat.
#2: Keep breaks regular and encourages hydration.
When working in the heat, your employees are going to need more breaks than if they were inside in an air-conditioned building. So make sure they take several breaks throughout the day and provide them with water or sports drinks so they remain hydrated.
#3: Give them a spot to rest in that’s air-conditioned or shaded.
Whether it’s a temporary trailer or shaded rest spots you set up, make sure they have access to areas where the temperature is cooler, so they can sit and rest.
#4: Make sure they have the right clothing and equipment.
Your employees need to be wearing garments that are heat-reflective and moisture-wicking. They should also have access to ice-packed vests, water-cooled clothing, and other equipment that will keep them safe.
#5: Know the signs of heat illness.
Before someone gets sick, make sure you know what to look out for when it comes to heat-related illnesses or conditions. This can include anything from dizziness and light-headedness to nausea and vomiting. Also, if an employee faints or has convulsions, make sure they get medical attention and clearance before returning to work.
#6: Communicate safety to workers and managers.
Make sure everyone who is working outside know the signs of heat-related illnesses and are also taking regular breaks and staying hydrated. The more you communicate about it, the better the chance of your people following the guidelines and staying cool and healthy.
#7: Be prepared for an emergency.
Train your team on what to do in the case of an emergency. Don’t take chances either. If a manager is uncertain or concerned, instruct them to call 911. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to employee safety.
Do you need help hiring safety-minded people for your team?
Future Force can help. We’re one of the leading staffing agencies in Orlando, FL and can give you access to the skilled and reliable people you need, who are also safety-conscious, where and when you need them. Contact us today to get started.