Summer is here and the temperatures are skyrocketing.  People working outside in 90+ degree heat need to take extra precautions to keep the sun from turning summer into a bummer. Here's what you need to know to keep the sun fun!

Don't get burned

Hats, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing will keep the sun’s UV rays from torching your delicate skin. And while you may think this advice only applies to lighter skinned folks, you're wrong. Anyone's skin can become damaged if they're exposed to too much sun.  WebMD offers some great tips for protecting you from sunburn -- including advice on choosing the right sunscreen.

Learn the difference between sun stroke and heat exhaustion

Although sun stroke and heat exhaustion are related, recognizing the difference between the two and how to treat each condition can help save a life.   Johns Hopkins provides the following guidance:

HRSunshineimagePrevent the engine from overheating to begin with

Employers in the know are familiar with the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) guidelines for keeping those workers from getting overheated to begin with.  This includes:

  • Drink water frequently…enough water that you never become thirsty
  • Take more frequent breaks
  • When taking a break, take it in the shade or in a cool area
  • Wear light colored, loose-fitting non-synthetic clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton
  • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of the day

Stormy Weather

While the sun may damage your skin, lightening can damage your whole body.  Just last year, a roofer in Bonita Springs, FL, was struck by lightning while installing a roof on a single-family home.  The weather had been cloudy and it had rained off and on during the afternoon and the crew was working in between rain showers when tragedy struck.  Just as the roofing crew completed the installation and were leaving the roof, the bolt of lightning hit, ultimately resulting in the worker’s death.

OSHA along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) urge employers to train workers in summer weather safety. This includes heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding and lightning.  Additionally, OSHA has created a specific fact sheet on lightning safety.

Even when the sun is beating down, you don't have to let it beat you up. A little planning and taking a few precautions will protect you and your employees from succumbing to summer weather.

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