As temperatures begin to tick upwards, now is a good time to talk to your crew about staying safe in extremely hot temperatures. In 2022, April, May and June are predicted to be at or above average for those times of year, according to The Weather Company. That means that you may be faced with higher temperatures than usual and need to double up on your efforts to stay safe in the heat.
Most of Louisiana is expected to be above normal temperatures in April, May and June, so discuss important safety measures against heat stroke and prepare for thunderstorms and other weather events.
Keeping workers safe in high temperatures
Did you know that most outdoor fatalities linked to heat, around 50% to 70%, happen within the first few days of hotter temperatures? People’s bodies need time to adjust and build a tolerance to hot weather. When the heat doesn’t go up gradually but increases suddenly, it puts more people at risk of serious heat-related health conditions.
During hot times of year, you should make sure to follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and safety protocols. Some helpful tips for workers who will be working outdoors include:
- Taking more regular breaks to drink water or eat.
- Having spaces where workers can cool off, like a break room that has air conditioning or a vehicle with air conditioning on site.
- Checking air movement. If you can, improve air movement with fans or other tools.
- Checking the weather for high humidity that may make the heat more oppressive.
- Having regular medical checkups to address health conditions that could be impacted by the heat.
Workers should also receive training to help them recognize the signs of being in distress, such as the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
On site, it is helpful to use a wet bulb globe temperature meter (WBGT). This takes into consideration not only the air temperature but also air movement, sunlight and humidity. This meter gives your crew a better idea of that actual impact of the heat.
All of these things can help you and your colleagues stay safe on the job. Be aware of the heat, and remember that it can be harmful if you don’t take steps to protect yourself.