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Give Your Landscapers Relief From the Heat

July 28, 2020

3 min read

Your crew deserves a safe summer.

Add a heading-Jul-20-2020-07-27-13-14-PM

The dog days of summer stretch from July 3 to August 11. That’s more than a month of hot, humid work for landscapers.

You don’t have to let the high temps and sweltering sun get the best of your crew. Give your landscapers relief from the heat with these cool tips.

Use the Heat Safety Tool

Before you head out to the worksite, use the Heat Safety Tool from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This app is available for iOS and Android.

Here’s what you get with the Heating Safety Tool:

  • Heat index.
  • Risk levels for outdoor workers.
  • Protective measures to take based on the conditions.
  • Reminders to drink enough fluids.
  • Scheduled rest breaks.
  • Training on heat illness signs and symptoms.

Apply Sunscreen Early and Often

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours.

Don’t let an overcast day fool you, either. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the earth on cloudy days.

The Right Gear for the Job

What clothing should your landscapers wear?

  • Hats.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Pants and long-sleeve shirts made of breathable material.

If possible, give each worker a shirt designed with your company's logo. They’ll appreciate it, and it’s good marketing.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion happens when you combine high temperatures, high humidity, and physical activity.

Mayo Clinic lists the following as signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Cool, moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Faintness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weak, rapid pulse.
  • Low blood pressure upon standing.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.

When someone experiences heat exhaustion, they should:

  • Stop all activity and rest.
  • Find shade or move to a cooler place.
  • Drink cool water or a sports drink.

What happens when heat exhaustion goes unchecked? It could lead to heat stroke, which is much more severe.

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature.
  • Confusion.
  • Agitation.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Irritability.
  • Seizures.
  • Change in sweating.
  • Flushing of the skin.
  • High heart rate.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Rapid breathing.

Call 911 immediately when someone displays signs of heat stroke. Cool that person off by moving them indoors or to a shaded area. Spray them with mist from a hose or use wet towels to help lower their body heat.

Match the Right Worker to the Right Job

Heat affects workers in different ways based on weight, age, experience, and hydration. Assign healthier people to more physically demanding jobs, if possible.

When you hire someone, limit their hours for the first 14 days as they acclimate to the heat.

Hydrate and Pack Water-Rich Snacks

OSHA recommends drinking 4 cups of water per hour when the heat index is between 103° and 115° F.

Stock your worksite coolers with water-rich snacks like:

  • Watermelon.
  • Strawberries.
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Peaches.
  • Oranges.

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Do you have the right coverage for your landscaping company? Talk to your local, licensed Pekin Insurance agent about business insurance to protect your people, property, and profits.

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