Summer is your busiest time of the year. Your crews are working at peak capacity. That may be great for your bottom line, but are you putting your employees at risk? Every year, hundreds of people are rushed to emergency rooms suffering from heat-related injuries. Keep your crew safe while mowing by following these important safety tips.
Emphasize Sun Protection
There are a lot of ways to stay protected from the sun. The first is to always use sunscreen; this doesn’t just help your crew avoid an uncomfortable sunburn, but dangerous skin damage too. Every year more than five million people fall victim to skin cancer – and many could have been avoided with the proper vigilance. Supply your employees with sunscreen (at least SPF 15), hats, sunglasses and long sleeve work shirts.
Keep Workers Hydrated
One of the biggest dangers for your workers is dehydration. Blamed for the majority of heat-related illnesses, dehydration happens quickly. In most cases, victims feel dizzy, lightheaded or tired before they realize they need water. Make sure your outside workers understand that by the time they feel thirsty, their body is already suffering the effects of dehydration. To help your crews avoid dehydration while mowing, be sure they follow these simple steps:
- Drink 16-32 ounces of water before heading outside to mow.
- Take water (or a sports drink with you). Drink a few ounces every 15 minutes.
- Be sure to wear lightweight clothing when working outdoors.
- Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day (between 10 am and 4 pm).
- Stop when you need a rest.
Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Any time the body temperature goes above its normal 98.6 degrees, you can suffer from dangerous effects. Heat exhaustion is the first sign that something is wrong and can include dehydration, dizziness and nausea. It can usually be treated by resting in a cool spot, drinking plenty of water and giving your body the chance to return to a safer core temperature.
When left untreated, however, heat exhaustion can result in a much more serious condition — heat stroke. Heat stroke should not be taken lightly. At its worst, it can lead to death. No matter how young your employees are, heat stroke can happen, especially if they are working in extremely high temperatures during the idle of the day. The condition occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 103 degrees and can no longer cool itself off. This is usually caused by a combination of dehydration and high temperatures.
Be sure that your employees are properly trained in recognizing these signs of heat stroke:
- Nausea or vomiting
- A throbbing headache
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- The inability to sweat
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Confusion or disorientation
If any of these signs appear, be sure to get the victim out of the sun and call for help. Offer plenty of water and apply ice to the armpits and groin area to help bring down the core body temperature until help arrives. Medical attention is vital to avoid serious harm. Always take heat exhaustion and heat stroke seriously – your prompt attention can make the difference between life and death.
Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment
You work to give your clients the absolute best service possible. Don’t your employees deserve the same treatment? Equip them with the safety guards they need to stay safe on the job. Right now Commercial Lawn Equipment is offering 0% on all new products and services. Call us today to see what is available.