Best Practices

Stay Cool when Working in the Summer Heat

Serious health complications are always a concern when working outdoors in high temperatures and humidity. Help your employees stay productive and healthy with these tips.

  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and stress. Symptoms often include confusion, dizziness, fatigue, and cramping. Any workers showing these symptoms should be taken to a shaded area immediately and provided with a cold drink. If the symptoms do not subside within a few minutes, seek medical attention.
  • Try to schedule your work before and after the peak daytime temperatures. Some crews work during the night to avoid high temperatures in extremely hot climates. If working in the sun can't be avoided, start the workday earlier or focus on work in the shade during noon hours. No matter how you set the schedule, require your workers to take frequent breaks in shaded areas.
  • Keeping direct sun off of the heads and faces of your workers can reduce the risk of heat stress. Ways to keep employees cool include providing large brimmed hats or bandanas dipped in cold water to reduce body heat.
  • Keep cold water on the jobsite. Stick to water or sports drinks, and avoid soda and energy drinks. Make sure drinks are kept cool.