employee working outside in sun

The Everyday Guide to Staying Safe While Working in the Sun

Summer is in full swing and while many individuals enjoy the hot summer sun, the heat and humidity can be dangerous for those who work outside. In fact, for individuals in the construction industry, the two most significant risks of working during the summer are heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

At JGM, uncompromising safety is always job number one, which is why we take extra precautions to ensure our team is safe when working outside during the summer months. Check out these five tips our team implements to stay safe!

Tip #1: Stay Hydrated

When working in the heat, staying hydrated should be your number one priority. According to WebMD, men are recommended to drink about three liters of water each day, while women need to drink around two liters. At JGM, we keep water coolers onsite so employees, contractors and visitors can easily get a drink whenever they need. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your body cool and prevents heat strokes and heat exhaustion.

Tip #2: Dress for the Heat

When working in the industrial construction and steel fabrication industry, it is important to wear safety gear. However, companies and employees should choose lightweight options for the summer months. Wearing lightweight, loose clothing provides more breathability and prevents heat from getting trapped next to the skin.

At JGM, our team has 24/7 access to our online store where they can find a variety of apparel options for every season, including t-shirts and hats for the summer months!

Tip #3: Wear Sunscreen & Sunglasses

According to the American Cancer Society, 5.4 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States. Exposure to the sun increases the risk of getting skin cancer, which is why it is important to wear sunscreen when working outside. Dermatologists recommend using a water-resistant, broad-spectrum coverage sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15 minutes prior to going out in the sun and then reapplied throughout the day for best results.

Not only is sunscreen important, but so are sunglasses. Long-term exposure to the sun can damage the skin around the eyes as well as contribute to the development of cataracts, growths on the eye and even macular degeneration. Sunglasses should always be worn when in the sun. For the best protection, experts recommend purchasing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays as well as screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.

Tip #4: Take a Break

When working outside in the hot summer sun all day, it is important to take breaks. Taking a break to grab some water, a snack and sit in the shade for a few minutes will prevent your body from reaching such a high temperature which could lead to a heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • A temperature higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Headaches

Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Cool skin with goosebumps despite the heat
  • Fainting, dizziness or fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is critical you stop what you are doing, notify a team member or your supervisor you are not feeling well, take a break and seek medical attention if necessary. Leaving a heat stroke or heat exhaustion go untreated can lead to more severe, long-term health issues.

Tip #5: Stay Healthy

Staying healthy is one way to keep your body better prepared to handle extreme temperatures. Be sure to eat healthy meals each morning, afternoon and night. It is also important to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep, so your body is prepared to handle the intense heat each day. Finally, cutting back on the use of tobacco products improves overall health and your body’s ability to work long hours in the heat.

At JGM, uncompromising safety is our priority. Our team regularly goes through training to improve safety processes and procedures to ensure employees return home safely each night. To learn more about how JGM puts safety first, visit our website today!

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