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How high temperatures bring safety risks for construction workers

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Construction Accidents, Personal Injury

Summer temperatures in Illinois and Indiana can feel unbearable. Unfortunately, construction projects with tight schedules must continue even in hot weather. Working hard in the summer heat brings additional risks to which construction companies must pay attention.

Why are building sites more dangerous in hot weather?

When you add warm temperatures to a building site, the potential for heat exhaustion and heat stroke increases dramatically. Construction crews perform intense labor as they move heavy equipment and materials. Their body temperatures naturally elevate as they exert energy to do their jobs.

The setting of a building project is also a factor in the summer months. Many sites are outdoors, and workers have to face the heat directly. Indoor projects often happen in cramped spaces without functioning cooling systems.

The increased risks for workers

The increased risk of construction accidents comes from both physical and mental heat-related issues. Sweaty hands are more likely to lose their grip on tools. Dropping a tool or construction material from a height can cause serious injuries. Sweat will also fog safety goggles and lead to mistakes.

Working in the heat takes a mental toll. The fatigue of heat exhaustion can cloud thinking and lead to impaired choices. Overheated workers will also have slower response times when there is an accident.

Reducing the danger

Lowering the risk of heat-related construction injuries involves personal preparation and worksite policies. On hot days, workers should wear bright-colored clothing that reflects light away from their bodies. Every employee needs access to cold drinks and should take frequent breaks.

Worksite managers must also consider the heat in their plans. They should reserve projects that require intense labor for cooler parts of the day. During heat waves, they may need to stop work or only work on necessary projects.

The well-being of workers must be a priority at every construction site. Adapting to hot temperatures can keep projects moving forward without compromising safety.