Construction is a type of job where workers face certain risks every time they step onto the site. It is a type of work that involves manual labor, working with heavy equipment and being outdoors in all types of weather. Weather is an important consideration for South Dakota construction workers, particularly in the summer months.
As a construction worker, you understand how hot it can be when working outdoors during the months of the year when the temperatures are higher. Heat safety should be a priority for all employers, and it's critical to provide the proper training and tools necessary to stay safe during this time of year. When you know what to do, it's possible to reduce your chance of suffering from heat-related health complications.
Steps to stay safe
Avoiding heat and sun-related physical ailments starts with knowing what to do before and during the period of exposure. Preparation is key, and it can be important for your safety to take the following steps to make sure you are as safe as possible during the hot summer months:
- Wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves. Wearing less clothing exposes more of your skin to the sun, and it won't really help you stay cooler.
- Stay hydrated to the best of your ability by drinking enough water and taking frequent breaks.
- If possible, try to work in the shade or avoid the hottest and brightest parts of the day.
- Allow your body to acclimate to significant changes in temperature, gradually building up the amount of time you work outdoors each day.
- Spritzing your face and neck with water can help you stay cool.
It's also important for you to be aware of the signs of problems. For example, if you stop sweating, it could be a sign of heatstroke. Pay attention to your body, take care of yourself and speak up if you believe you need help or someone else on your team needs medical assistance.
Know your rights
It's smart to know how to stay safe when working in the heat, but it's also smart to know what to do in the event that you need to file a workers' compensation claim. An assessment of your case can help you understand what steps you should take to make sure you file the right paperwork and maximize the benefits that are coming to you. As with other types of insurance claims, you may benefit from the help of an attorney.