Excavation is an outdoor job, meaning that in the hotter times of the year this can be a health hazard on the workers, potentially even deadly. So practicing safe summer work ethics is important for you and anyone else excavating with you. Here are some tips on how to beat the heat and stay safe while conducting an excavation job.
Photo Credit: Saad Akhtar on flickr
Look For Signs
Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and hyperthermia is very dangerous and happens to many outdoor workers during the summer months due to working long unbroken hours in direct sun all day. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and hyperthermia are all conditions of your body overheating and reacting extremely to the hot conditions. It is important for you and your workers to know the signs of these so that if anyone experiences the symptoms they can get help immediately.
Warning Signs & Symptoms:
- Heat Exhaustion: Dizziness, fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, weakness, cramps and headache.
- Heat Stroke: Red, hot and dry skin, high body temperature, convulsions and fainting.
- Hyperthermia: nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, headache, fatigue, dizziness and weakness.
What To Do
When you or a co-worker experiences any of these symptoms then certain action needs to be taken immediately in order to alleviate those symptoms and avoid a worse reaction or even possible death. OSHA has actually started a program to try and spread awareness of the dangers of heat illnesses and they highly encourage outside workers to take breaks as needed to avoid any of those heat conditions mentioned above. OSHA’s tips are simply “Water. Rest. Shade.”
Drink water every 15 minutes to avoid dehydration. Just because you don’t feel thirsty, doesn’t mean your body doesn’t NEED it. So be sure to stay hydrated.
Rest in the shade, taking regular breaks from the direct sunlight and resting in the shade will help you and your workers to avoid any heat illnesses, it will also help to build a stronger heat tolerance.
Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. This will allow air to flow and not trap in heat close to your bodies.
Follow these tips and make sure that you and your workers are not over exerting themselves in the heat. This will help create and keep a healthy, happy and stronger team of workers.