Employers can also help workers stay safe by taking steps to reduce their crew’s exposure to the heat as much as possible, providing cool, shaded areas on construction sites, and providing plenty of water and opportunities for rest.
Boca Raton, Florida (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
Construction work is already a dangerous occupation, but those working outdoors under Florida’s hot summer sun face additional workplace dangers. SourceOne Partners offers the following advisory to help construction workers in Florida stay safe during the summer months.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, out of all occupations, construction work has one of the highest rates of illness and injury. In addition to facing common hazards such as working in high places and working with hazardous materials and dangerous machinery, construction workers also have to do physically demanding work in all kinds of weather conditions. Add sunshine and hot temperatures to the mix, and outdoor laborers also find themselves in danger of heat-related illnesses, some of which are potentially life threatening.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are five types of heat stress that workers have to watch out for. These include:
- Heat rash
- Heat cramps
- Heat syncope - dizziness or fainting
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
While heat stroke is the most severe and dangerous form of heat stress, syncope and heat exhaustion often serve as warning signs and should be taken seriously. A worker experiencing heat syncope should immediately be allowed to rest in the shade and rehydrate with water or a sports drink. Heat exhaustion, symptoms of which include nausea, shallow breathing, extreme fatigue and heavy sweating in addition to syncope, should also be treated with a cold shower or sponge bath.
Symptoms of heat stroke to watch for include a high body temperature, skin that’s both hot and dry to the touch or profuse sweating, slurred speech, confusion, dizziness, a throbbing headache and body chills. Heat stroke victims might also experience hallucinations. If a worker exhibits signs of a heat stroke, the CDC advises immediately calling 911 and notifying their supervisor, moving the worker into the shade, and drenching them with cool water until help arrives.
To avoid heat-related illnesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following actions:
- Allow workers not used to working in the heat to acclimate slowly by working shorter shifts until they become used to it.
- Drink water every 15 minutes, regardless of whether you feel thirsty.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing to protect from sun exposure.
- Keep an eye on your fellow workers to make sure they don’t succumb to the heat.
Employers can also help workers stay safe by taking steps to reduce their crew’s exposure to the heat as much as possible, providing cool, shaded areas on construction sites, and providing plenty of water and opportunities for rest. Providing proper training on the signs of heat stress, prevention and treatment can also go a long way toward not only keeping workers safe, but also cutting down on workers’ comp claims.
SourceOne Partners, one of South Florida’s leading payroll and PEO companies, can help construction companies and general contractors comply with Florida state laws by providing workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. They work with insurance companies throughout the state to make it possible for them to help match your construction business with the best workers’ compensation solution for your company’s needs.
About SourceOne Partners
SourceOne Partners is a leading provider of PEO and payroll services in South Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The services SourceOne provides help companies reduce HR costs, minimize employer risk and liability, and relieve the administrative burdens of HR and payroll. Visit sourceonepartners.com or call 561-674-0748 for a free payroll or PEO analysis for your business.
SourceOne Partners Locations:
2255 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
990 Cedarbridge Ave #7
Brick, NJ 08723