Working in the Heat

May 24, 2024

Working in construction during hot weather can present significant challenges. Here are some tips to help manage the heat and stay safe:

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly in hot conditions.

Take Breaks

Schedule frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas to give your body a chance to cool down. Avoid working continuously in the sun for extended periods.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin to protect against the sun. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for additional protection.

Use Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed skin, and reapply as needed, especially if you’re sweating heavily.

Plan Work Schedule

Try to schedule the most physically demanding tasks for the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon.

Utilize Cooling Equipment

Use fans, misting fans or portable air conditioning units to create a cooler work environment when possible.

Know the Signs of Heat Illness

Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, such as dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid heartbeat, and hot, dry skin. If you or a coworker experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Modify Work Practices

Adjust work practices to minimize heat exposure, such as reducing the time spent working in direct sunlight or rotating tasks between workers to limit individual exposure.

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on weather forecasts and heat advisories to plan accordingly and take necessary precautions.

Training and Awareness

Ensure all workers are trained in recognizing the signs of heat-related illnesses and know how to respond appropriately in case of an emergency. By prioritizing safety and taking proactive measures to combat the heat, construction workers can reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries while working in hot weather.

Scott Davidson, Safety and Education Director, is available to further discuss fire protection on construction sites. As a benefit of your membership to MCA/CPCA, there is no fee for the following services provided:

  • Job Site Inspections
  • Tool Box Talks
  • Site Specific Safety Programs
  • Help with Third Party Safety Plans (ISNET)
  • Onsite, at your shop, or at our facility training (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms, Fall Protection, PPE, Haz Com, OSHA 10, OSHA 30, OSHA Refresher and more)
  • Site Specific Safety Consulting (Fall Protection, Confined Space, Trenching and Excavation and more
  • You can call Scott for more information

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