The Importance of Shade
Shade is the second element championed by OSHA to protect workers from heat. Not all jobsites will have shade to keep the workspace cooler. Fortunately, there are a number of artificial tools that provide shade when you cannot use natural shade to reduce the temperature of your crew. Tents can be pitched around work areas when large construction vehicles are not in use. Hard hats and other wider brimmed hats can provide personal shade when workers cannot work in natural shade or under a tent.
The Importance of Shade, Tents, and Personal Protective Shade
Shade should be provided in your work areas whenever possible. Shade and cooling from PPE can help your crew when natural or engineered shade is not available. However, shade and cooler environments must be provided in places where workers rest.
Take Frequent BreaksYour body needs breaks to recover from stress that extreme heat puts on your system. Failure to provide breaks just isn't against the law--it could lead to heat exhaustion or death.
Tips on Choosing a Shelter From Our Partner EZ-Up
- Identify Your Needs
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Shade & Accessory Solutions
Personal Shade: Hard Hat Shades & Hats
Knowing the Signs of Heat Stress and Having First Aid on Site
Having protective measures in place is a good start, but it is important to ensure your staff knows the symptoms of heat stress.
- Heat rash is an early sign of heat stress, and results in red spots and bumps, often in areas of the body with restrictive clothing.
- Heat cramps are another early sign that a worker is beginning to overheat. When a worker’s muscles begin to spasm, it should be treated as a sign that they are overheating, and they should rest.
- Heat exhaustion is more serious and can lead to heat stroke if a person does not seek to cool down. It includes increased pulse rate and sweating, headaches and vertigo, nausea, irritability, and feeling weak. Drinking and resting can help to alleviate the problem.
- Heat stroke is a serious, potentially fatal heat illness. If a worker begins to act confused, slurs their speech, or exhibits an altered mental state, this could be an early sign of heat stroke. If ignored, it can result in seizures and loss of consciousness and even death.
As heat stress can rapidly progress, it is vital to have first aid on the jobsite to address heat related symptoms and conditions. There should also be a competent person(s) available at each jobsite who are trained in how to provide first aid for heat-related symptoms.