Employers need to be sure that they reinforce summer safety for outdoor workers. It’s important to take precautions against exposure to sun, heat and bug bites during the summer months.
To protect outdoor workers against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays:
- Be sure they cover up. Lightweight, tightly woven clothing that you can’t see through works best.
- They should use sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays.
- Suggest they wear a hat. It should protect neck, ears, forehead, nose and scalp.
- UV-absorbent shades are also recommended. Sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer, especially when your outdoor workers perform strenuous tasks. To help them beat the heat:
- Remind them to drink plenty of water before they get thirsty.
- Ask them to eat smaller meals before work activity.
- Recommend they skip the caffeine and soda; drink water instead.
If your employees are working in tall grass or wooded areas, have your outdoor workers take the following precautions to protect yourself from ticks:
- Wear light-colored clothing to see ticks more easily.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants.
- Tuck pant legs into socks or boots.
- Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover feet completely.
- Wear a hat.
- Use tick repellant, but not on the face.
- Wash and dry work clothes at high temperatures.
They should examine themselves for ticks after work and remove any attached ticks promptly with a tweezers. In some regions, ticks may transmit Lyme disease. If anyone gets bit and develops a rash, they need to see their doctor.
Insect Bites and Stings
Bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings are typically only dangerous to those who are allergic or have been stung multiple times. Your outdoor workers should:
- Wear bug repellant.
- Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or scented lotions.
- Check before drinking from cups, bottles or cans. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet drinks.
For more safety tips to share with your employees, call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435.