California summers are known for their sunshine and beautiful weather. However, when you’re working outside these pleasant temperatures can quickly turn dangerous.
Heat-related injuries are a major issue for those whose jobs require them to be outside. Here are a few ways you can stay cool while working outside this summer:
If possible, wearing a top-layer of lightweight, reflective clothing can be the difference between being hot and being overheated. Check with your employer on whether these outfits are allowed.
Reflective clothing can deflect just enough of the sun’s rays to make the difference. This holds true especially when you’re working on a job site with little to no sun cover.
When working in the heat, it’s important to rotate jobs as much as possible. This allows someone in a skid loader to take a break from the heated cabin or spreads the work of hauling concrete around to several individuals.
If you’re doing a very labor-intensive task, talk to your supervisor about rotating and keeping the rotations short. Even small breaks in the work can be enough to allow your body time to cool off and recover.
If your job is flexible, discuss changing your work shift so you avoid the peak of the day when the sun is at its highest point. If it means coming in early or staying later, it may be worth it simply to avoid the risk of overheating or sun exposure.
Even if you cannot completely rearrange your shift, consider taking a lunch break when the sun is the highest. Look on a weather app and try to plan out your breaks for the hottest points of the day.
Working outside when it’s hot can be miserable. However, sometimes workers mistake symptoms of heat illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion as harmless. This isn’t the case.
If a coworker feels dizzy, has sudden nausea or weakness in different parts of their body, they may be succumbing to heat exhaustion. Likewise, if someone stops sweating or is getting confused easily, they could be having a heat stroke.
By recognizing the signs, you can help stop these issues before they do major damage.
Working in hot conditions may be unavoidable, but that makes safety even more important. High temperatures can lead to heat strokes, heat exhaustion or mental mistakes that lead to severe injuries.
If you’re injured while working, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the claims process.