Sometimes, there’s nothing better than working outdoors. But in the heat of the summer, outdoor jobs, like construction, can become grueling or even downright dangerous. Long hours of exposure to the sun can lead to major and minor problems like sun burn, heatstroke or ultimately skin cancer.
If your job requires extended time in the sun, use these four tips to help survive the summer.
1) Wear Protective Clothing
The best way to prevent sun damage is to cover up. If you wear a light-weight, long-sleeved shirt and pants, you can limit your skin’s exposure to dangerous sun rays.
Other proper clothing tips for outdoor jobs:
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat
- Extend your collar
- Wear sunglasses
- Attach a flap or brim to your hard hat
- Wear light-weight gloves
2) Regularly Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen reduces the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Since UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand and concrete, everyone who works outdoor jobs should apply sunscreen at least every two hours. The Skin Care Foundation suggests using an SPF of 15 or higher, which should also be water-resistant.
You can limit skin damage by applying sunscreen to all exposed areas of the body, including:
- Back of the hands
There are several easy-to-use types of sunscreen to choose from:
3) Stay in the Shade when Possible
In the heat of the summer, it’s smart to plan to limit your crew’s sun exposure. Simply staying out of harm’s way is sometimes the best policy, if possible.
- Move some tasks indoors
- Consider shadier locations for jobs that need to be done outdoors
- Erect a temporary shelter that limits the sun’s exposure
- Take lunch and coffee breaks in shady areas
4) Alter the Schedule of Outdoor Jobs when Necessary
As you plan employees summer work schedules, factor in their potential exposure to the sun, which may cause serious problems, including heat exhaustion. As much as possible, schedule outdoor jobs before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are weaker. If tasks must be done outdoors during the heat of the day, rotate workers shifts to limit sun exposure to individual employees.
These four strategies will not only help protect your employees’ health but could potentially decrease your company’s sick time this summer.