Water is life. Unfortunately many find it hard to consume due to its tasteless nature, but it really is the best way to hydrate your body. To encourage your workers, try providing flavor enhancers like Crystal Lite, Dasani Drops or MiO next to the water cooler. Drinks like Gatorade or VitaminWater are also great because of the added electrolytes they provide, beverages like Red Bull and Monster may give that quick burst of energy, but should be avoided as they offer minimal hydration. Keep the fluids flowing and so will your job site.
Investing in proper outerwear and elements of shade for your team is worth every penny. Wide brim hard hats can be purchased for outdoor jobs and some vendors actually provide lightweight visors that can just be attached to your hard hats. Provided canopies or umbrellas when possible to avoid direct sunlight will make a happy crew. Options of clothing like full sleeve UV protected shirts, bandanas, cooling vests and nape protectors are all very smart items to have as apart of your uniform repertoire.
Food will set the tone for your entire day. Like on most job sites, finding a nutritional meal quickly can be challenging. Junk food is high in fat and the typical staple for most workers, but the high caloric intake on the digestive system stresses the body, especially in high heat. Starting off with a hearty breakfast (think oatmeal, eggs etc.) will help sustain you through the day and prevent a ravenous appetite for lunch. When break time does come in the afternoon, skip the burger and try a lighter option such as salad with fruit or a turkey wrap. Circadian Rhythms should be watched, this is our body's internal clock that operates our sleep-wake cycle and can be activated after a heavy lunch causing one to feel like a nap is needed, providing healthier snacks on site will ensure your team stays awake and focused.
A team should always look out for one another. Keep an eye on one another and look for any signs of heat exhaustion. Typical symptoms are lethargy, stumbling, dropping tools, unresponsiveness or slurred speech. Precautions around heavy machinery and tools is always a priority so checking for these symptoms should be added to the check list in order to provide early intervention and keep everyone safe.
Your Supers and Project Managers should work together on trying to scheduling working hours in cooler parts of the day if possible. Time management of when certain tasks can be performed should always be considered. If the heat cannot be avoided, management should have a constant pulse on breaks and increase when need be in order to prevent exhaustion or worse.
Heat is a killer - take the proper precautions.