5 Safety Tips For Working Outdoors
Outdoor Working Advice
It is estimated that a workplace injury happens every 7 to 10 seconds. Most are relatively mild but unfortunately, some are serious and can lead to permanent injury or even death. Those who work outdoors face additional risks and also need to deal with a range of weather conditions.
Safety should always be the highest priority in any workplace but when you work outdoors following safety guidelines is crucial. Every employer is responsible to implement rules and regulations to ensure employees’ health and safety, but it is also the responsibility of employees to follow the guidelines for their own safety and that of their workmates. Here are 5 safety tips for working outdoors that will help you be a productive worker and a safe one as well.
1. Wear The Proper Clothing
No matter how hot the weather can get, shorts and t-shirts do not equate to workwear. Long pants protect your legs from cuts and scratches from flying debris and other projected bits and pieces. The material should be light enough to move freely, but thick enough to prohibit an item from breaking through and cutting your legs. Long sleeves are also a must to protect from the blistering heat and also act as a barrier from flying pieces. In colder weather, you’ll also need to rug up and stay warm. Work clothing should be made of breathable materials that are also durable. Don’t forget the hard hats if you work in construction. It’s all about being comfortable and protected.
2. Adequate Footwear
One of the most common workplace injuries happens when large, heavy objects are dropped on feet. Toes are a particularly delicate target and usually the most prone to bumping into solid fixtures as well as wayward falling objects. No worker, especially those that work on roadsides or construction should be wearing anything less on their feet than steel toe cap boots. These boots are not only comfortable, but the steel toe cap takes the brunt of any impact coming from a dropped power tool or other heavy objects. You might still feel the pain, but you’ll feel it even more without these protective boots. Zipper work boots for men are recommended for those who need solid and stable boots. These boots also protect the feet and for those who need to wear slightly taller boots, the zipper means the entire boot can be fitted snugly leaving as little wiggle room as possible so you won’t be trying to navigate your way through tough terrain and keep your boots on at the same time.
3. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your fluids up in any working environment is essential for your health and wellbeing but when you work outdoors it is even more important to stay hydrated by consuming the right types of fluids. In hot conditions staying hydrates is crucial and while plain water is fantastic, it may not be enough when you are sweating profusely under the scorching sun. In this case, increase your water consumption but have a few drinks throughout the day to replace lost electrolytes. You can do this by having a few bottles of sports drinks on hand, keep a stash of electrolyte granules in your lunch bag or even just mix a little bit of salt and sugar into your water if nothing else is available.
Don’t think you’re off the hook in colder weather. You still need to stay hydrated even if you are sweating less. Keep up the water but also keep a thermos of coffee, tea, or even broth nearby for a nice warm beverage that will help you weather the cold and also keep you adequately hydrated.
4. Avoid Hypothermia And Hyperthermia
Allowing your body temperature to get too cold is just as bad as letting it get too high. While working outdoors may be unavoidable regardless of the weather conditions, you need to pay attention to your body’s reaction to the weather. Hypothermia in cold weather can be fatal so rug up in warm clothing, including hats, jackets, boots, and gloves. Whenever possible, drink warm beverages and get out of the cold as often as your job allows.
Hyperthermia is the opposite issue and occurs when you are exposed to the heat and sun for too long. Get out of the sun whenever possible or at least limit the strenuous parts of your working day to early morning and late afternoon when the sun isn’t so strong. Keep cool by drinking lots of water or sports drinks and wear light, breathable clothing.
5. Workplace Health & Safety Practices
If your company hasn’t offered training in workplace health and safety practices, ask your supervisor to arrange a presentation or workshop for this purpose. The practices must be specific to the type of work you are engaged in as well as additional guidelines for working outdoors. In particular, if you are a roadside worker, insist on safe practice training to stay safe on roads, especially as you need to deal with your job and oncoming traffic.