TechNews: Hot Weather Safety Tips

It's the height of the roofing season, and roofing professionals across the country are trying to get as much work completed as quickly as possible. However, no job is worth risking your health. When working in the summer heat, you must always be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness. Here are some heat illness facts and prevention tips from OSHA to help contractors work safely in the summertime. For more safety tips and full OSHA guidelines for working in the heat, visit the OSHA website.

Risk factors for heat illness:
High temperature and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind
Low liquid intake
Heavy physical labor
Waterproof clothing
No recent exposure to hot workplaces.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Headache, dizziness, or fainting
Weakness and wet skin
Irritability or confusion
Thirst, nausea, or vomiting.

Symptoms of heat stroke:
Confusion, inability to think clearly, passing out, collapse, or seizures
High body temperature
Loss of coordination
Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
Throbbing headache.

If someone on your crew has symptoms:
Tell the supervisor right away and ask for medical help
Move the person to the shade to cool off
Keep the person cool: cool the skin with a wet cloth or a spray mist
Loosen the person’s clothing
Have the person drink cool water slowly (only if he or she is conscious and not vomiting)
Do not leave the person alone.

How you can protect yourself and others:
Know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself and use a buddy system
Block out direct sun and other heat sources when possible
Drink plenty of fluids BEFORE you get thirsty, and drink often (every 15 minutes)
Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

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