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Working during the summertime comes with its own unique set of risks due to the hot weather, which can make jobs more gruelling and challenging than normal. Whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee who just wants to stay safe on the job, there are certain steps and precautions that you should take in order to minimise the risk of injury. Likewise, heeding the tips below will also help you stay more comfortable, work more efficiently, and reduce the risk of doing the job wrong or damaging property.
1. Wear the Right Shoes
If you’re working in shoes that don’t have great traction or support, you could be exposing yourself to an increased risk of slip and fall accidents. Thus, it’s a good idea to get a pair of summer safety shoes from a company like engelbert strauss that will help you stay firmly footed while doing any task, regardless of the current weather conditions. Engelbert strauss is known for being one of the best suppliers of safety shoes in the UK, with an extensive selection of shoes and summer safety boots that meet the requirements to be considered non-slip and work safe according to the SRB, SRC, and SRA. They have a diverse collection of work sneakers and boots that can accommodate any kind of job.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can be dangerous, not only because it’s unhealthy, but also because it impairs your ability to react quickly and think clearly. Your brain needs sufficient blood flow to perform optimally, and when you’re working on a job that carries the risk of injury or property damage, you need to be on your toes at all times. Always bring cold beverages to the job site to ensure you’re always optimally hydrated.
3. Use the Right Tools and Gear
Using the wrong tools is a common mistake that leads to unnecessary injury. This would include using load-bearing equipment that isn’t rated to support the item you’re trying to move or handle or trying to climb above the recommended top step on the ladder. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and read the manual thoroughly to determine if the tool you’re using is right for the job. Likewise, always wear gloves, goggles, and other accessories when necessary.
4. Schedule Your Work Hours Strategically
Working during the hottest time of the day is never a smart move, especially if you can help it. Generally, early morning is the best time to get things done while the sun is out but not beating down on you from high in the sky. The early afternoon should be avoided if possible. Strategic scheduling can help you avoid unnecessary exhaustion and will make every job much easier on you. Studies have proven that excessive heat can affect problem-solving and decision-making abilities, so it’s more than just a matter of comfort.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation increases the difficulty and danger of every job because it slows down your reaction time and heightens your chances of making mistakes. Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep to ensure you’re on top of your game while at work. This starts the night before by going to bed early enough to meet your designated wake up time. Even if you don’t wind up getting injured or damaging property, being tired will definitely affect your ability to perform any job optimally – you’ll always do a better job when well-rested.
6. Take Breaks
Working without breaks can lead to mental fatigue that increases your risk of experiencing mishaps. Even if the work you’re doing isn’t extremely laborious or tiring, simply doing the same task for too long without a break can cause your brain to become numb to the process due to the mundanity. Thus, taking occasional breaks will help you stay focused on doing a good job and enthusiastic about continuing. Generally, it’s best to take a break of at least 10-15 minutes in length once every few hours, or maybe more often if you’re working in intense heat.
7. Know Your Limits
Working beyond the point of exhaustion is a recipe for disaster, especially when the weather itself is already working against you. A job that you normally might have no problem doing at normal temperatures might become an absolute nightmare on certain summer days. Be realistic about how long you can work and what you can do to avoid overextending yourself with negative consequences.
Instil These Principles in Your Employees
Ultimately, the tips above could wind up saving you a lot of hassle in the form of unnecessary workers’ compensation claims, missed work, and of course, the cost of being injured or having to repair damaged property or equipment. Thus, every contractor should take steps to ensure their team is well-educated on the topic of summer work safety.