Keeping Your Employees Cool on the Job

Jun 15, 2011

Many fleets serve companies in industries like construction, whose work can become very difficult during the sweltering summer months.  Exposure to heat for prolonged periods can be dangerous for you employees, so here are some tips to keep your most valuable asset protected under the summer sun.


1. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is crucial when working in hot weather. Keeping a bottle of water handy at all times will help you to avoid dehydration. Even if you are not thirsty, take a drink at least every 30 minutes or so to keep from losing too much water to perspiration.


2. Pace yourself.  Deadlines or even a desire to get done faster can cause workers to push themselves physically, which can be especially dangerous in extreme heat.  Pace yourself physically and take frequent breaks in the shade (if available) to keep from overexerting yourself.

3. Dress for the conditions. Your company’s uniform may not be optimized for hot weather, so consider making some exceptions for hot outdoor work. Make sure you are wearing a breathable material and a hat to shield your face from the sun.  Applying sunscreen should also be a priority, and should be reapplied as necessary to prevent sunburn.


4. Bring more workers and take shorter shifts on the job. Working in shorter bursts with more rest will do wonders for your group’s endurance in hot conditions.


5. Don’t stay outside all day. Whenever possible, take a short break and spend a few minutes in an air-conditioned building or vehicle to give yourself time to cool down.  Make sure these breaks last at least 10 minutes to give your body’s internal temperature time to drop a bit.


6. Bring the right tools.  A spray bottle filled with ice water can provide refreshment all day long.  Keep several bandanas submerged in a cooler of ice water, and apply them to your head as the day progresses.  You will stay cool for longer and feel more comfortable while you work.


With these tips, your employees will be more comfortable, more efficient, and most importantly, safer while working in hot conditions. If you have any tips of your own, tell us in the comment section!


Photo courtesy of gabriel and re-used under the Creative Commons license.