The weather is warming up and for the construction industry that comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that more work can be done and there are millions of dollars heading into the industry throughout Virginia. The bad news is that as the temperatures heat up it can put a major strain on construction workers. Before you head out to the job, you should know these simple but important tips for staying safe and healthy while also maximizing productivity:
- Stay hydrated: This is probably the most obvious one, but it needs to be said and it also needs to be explained. Hydration includes things like water, vitamin water, Gatorade or other drinks meant to keep you hydrated. It does not include soda, juices, alcoholic beverages, coffee and other drinks that are high in sugar and can dehydrate you as well.
- Use sunscreen: Make a habit of putting on sunscreen every morning before work and then reapplying at lunch time. This is something you especially need to do if you work outdoors, regardless of the temperature. If it’s hot and there’s a fair amount of sunlight hitting your skin each day, you need to protect it as much as possible.
- Don’t skip your breaks: Work can get overwhelming, but you do not want to skip your breaks. The average construction company offers a 30-60-minute lunch break as well as two 15-minute breaks during the day. Yes, it would be nice if you can get the work done faster but these breaks are meant to give your body a chance to rehydrate and cool down.
- Shade is shady: Yes, the temperature is much lower when you work in the shade, but it can also be a little misleading. Just because you are working in the shade doesn’t mean you will not need to stay hydrated. This is something that many workers make the mistake of doing. Because they are under the shade they do not think that they need to drink as many fluids or pace themselves. That’s a mistake, even under shade you are burning through moisture at a high rate and need to keep fluids in your body.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time working construction or your twentieth year on the job. Being prepared for the outdoors is something that everyone needs to do. The better prepared you are, the less chance there will be of accidents or mistakes. Follow these tips and you’re already ahead of the curve.