6 Ways To Stay Cool In The Heat Of Construction Season

The severe winter weather in many parts of the country has now given way to the opposite extreme - oppressive heat that can be equally if not more dangerous than cold and icy conditions. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes for the body temp to rise to 106 degrees when experiencing heat stroke. Fortunately, heat-related illnesses are preventable. Use these following tips to stay cool and comfortable this summer:
  1. Wear fabrics that allow you to stay cool: Many garments today are engineered to provide sweat-wicking functions as well as UV and insect protection. 
  2. Maintain proper hydration: Keep plenty of cool water at an accessible location. Try incorporating beverages containing electrolytes to replace those lost working in the heat. Avoid sugary drinks and soda. 
  3. Plan outside work for cooler parts of the day: Avoid doing strenuous outdoor tasks during the heat of the day if possible and plan those jobs for early morning when the heat is at its lowest. If working during high-heat times cannot be avoided, take frequent rests in a shaded area. 
  4. Exercise: Staying in shape can make you less prone to heat illness as extra pounds make it more difficult for your body to properly regulate heat. So plan to hit the gym or take an evening stroll. 
  5. Eat light: Fried, greasy foods are taxing to the digestive system. When your body is busy trying to process those types of foods, there is less energy available to properly handle the heat-releasing process. Opt for a light sandwich, salad, and/or fruit.
  6. Cover your head and neck: Most heat-loading in the body occurs in the head and neck. Covering them assists the body in keeping it's core temperature down. Bandanas and cellulose/sponge sweatbands dipped in cold water and wrung out before wearing are effective ways to keep a cool head when the heat is up!
For more information on heat-related illness see OSHA's page on heat illness prevention at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.