How to keep your employees safe in the heat

There are tens of thousands of jobs around the world that demand those that do them to work in hot conditions, so there is no getting around the heat.

A plumber performing maintenance on a water heater (boiler) - image courtesy of DFC.
A worker performing maintenance on a water heater (boiler) – image courtesy of DFC.

There are, however, ways to protect anybody that you employ to work in extremely hot or humid conditions and there are ways to help them avoid the difficulties that can arise from doing so.

Keeping your employees safe in this way isn’t just something that you could be doing, it is something that you should be doing, for both your employees’ sake and for yours. To see what you can do exactly to keep those that work in the heat for you safe, read on.

Make clean water available

Drinking water is a prerequisite in hot conditions, which is why it must be made available to your employees at all times as they get on with their work. Not only should it be available, however, it should be clean as well. To ensure this, you should be making sure that you only ever provide water that has been provided or tested by a leading supplier of industrial water treatment, and you should be keeping the water that you do provide in as cool and shaded an area as there is in your employees’ working environment.

Allow for the gradual increase of workloads

You shouldn’t be allowing for your employees to get straight into their work without testing the waters in regards to how much heat they can handle. Trying too much, too soon, will result in exhaustion and fatigue, and this will either end up with your employees being taken ill or them failing to do the work you ask of them correctly.

What you should be doing is allowing new workers or those that are returning from their break to gradually increase their load, and you should be allowing them to take smaller breaks going forward as they acclimatise back into their role. This will help them to build some sort of tolerance to the temperature.

Monitor your workers

Whether it’s you or somebody that you hire to do so, somebody should be on site to monitor the workforce that are working in the heat. This is essential because, more often than not, employees will seek to power through anything that seeks to hold them back, like fatigue or even sunstroke, in order to finish their job quicker. This, however, of course, will do more harm than good, and that is why a monitor should be on hand to stop employees from pushing themselves too hard.

Offer shaded areas of recluse

Like water, shade is another prerequisite in hot working conditions, which is why, by any means necessary, it must be provided. Whether you have to make it yourself or whether you move your workstation to a place where shade is always on offer, you must be offering shaded areas of recluse to allow your employees the chance to avoid heat stress.

To keep your employees safe when they work in hot conditions, make sure to take the advice above.