It’s hot! In weather like this we need to watch out for heat stress. Planning for working in hot weather needs to be in place before it becomes too hot. Heat can affect people’s concentration and lead to mistakes and accidents. Below are 7 tips for managers and workers on how to beat the heat at work. It’s worth reminding people of these at your next toolbox talk or safety meeting.
- Carry a water bottle
Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink. By then you’re probably already dehydrated. Carry a water bottle or hydration pack and sip at least half a litre an hour – more if it’s really hot.
- Allow for more breaks
Adjust the schedule to include more frequent breaks or consider letting workers set their own work/rest schedule. Change production targets if needed to allow for more breaks. Make sure people can rest in the shade, and use fans or air-conditioning in crew huts and vehicles.
- Schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day
Schedule the most physically demanding tasks for the coolest part of the day. If that’s not possible, try to share the load by rotating workers. Adjust the schedule so people can work in the shade as much as possible.
- What colour is your pee?
If it is light you’re hydrated and good to go. If it’s dark you need to drink more.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
These will dehydrate you. Avoid coffee, tea and energy drinks before and during your shift. Avoid heavy drinking the night before work.
- Eat right
Make sure you eat well – have three good meals a day, along with regular snacks. Food contains water as well as giving you energy. Keep your energy up by eating foods like wholemeal bread, nuts, lean protein, fruit and veggies.
- Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap
Wear sunscreen and reapply every two hours. Cover up with loose-fitting clothes made of light fabrics – cotton will keep you cooler than synthetics. Make sure helmets have flaps and visors.