Building Tolerance to Hot Weather: Easy Does It

hot weatherHot weather conditions are a well-known concern for construction managers, but the early months of elevated temperatures are the most dangerous, simply because workers are unaccustomed to the heat.

Acclimatization, a process where a person can build tolerance to the heat, can be done gradually by increasing workload slowly during hot weather months. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Construction managers should not only be aware of the symptoms of heat illness but also make sure that workers are advised on the simple safety measures to prevent heat illness: water, rest, shade. OSHA has also provided a free application for I-Phone & Android that calculates the heat index, levels, and provides medical details/warnings/remedies for heat stroke.

To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

Above all, workers who have not been exposed to hot weather conditions should have modified work schedules; tolerance to heat takes some time.

For more safety information for the work site, contact Diversified Safety Services.

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