Ah, summer. The time for beaches, barbecues, and blasting the air conditioner after the weather app tells you that it’s going to 110° F outside.
But as we all know, summer isn’t all fun in the sun. Excessive heat, natural disasters, and other major safety concerns unique to this season often rear their ugly heads on our job sites. Below, we have outlined four of the biggest summer threats to safety and productivity, as well as techniques for how you and your workforce can beat the proverbial heat.
Say Hello to Hurricane Season
Despite the official ‘hurricane season’ lasting from now until November, hurricanes can strike at any time. With that being said, 2021 provided one of the most destructive seasons in recent memory. And in 2022, the NOAA is predicting a 70% chance of an above-normal season. Therefore, all employers in high-risk areas for hurricanes should have a comprehensive evacuation plan at the ready at all times.
Track the Heat
Anyone who has worked outside in the middle of the day during the hottest months of the year will tell you that heat-related exhaustion and illness are critical concerns. OSHA also recognizes the severity of the threat and has developed hazard mitigation requirements related to working in intense heat.
First thing’s first: you must be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The latter being a serious medical emergency.
Where There’s Smoke…
And speaking of heat, we have all been unfortunately reminded in the past few years just how destructive wildfires can become after they grow out of control. In 2020 alone, over 58,000 wildfires burned over 10 million acres in the United States. Similar to hurricane readiness, all employers and worksites should implement evacuation plans, marked exits, and a predetermined chain of command in the event of an unexpected wildfire.
Make Sure Young Workers are Properly Trained
School’s out, which means that a lot of workers under the age of 24 are looking for summer jobs. The young set makes up roughly 12% of the total workforce but accounts for a larger percentage of total workplace injuries. For example, workers between the ages of 15 and 19 are 1.25 times more likely to end up being treated in emergency departments than their counterparts over the age of 25.
Stay Cool with KPA
KPA’s got the training, tools, and talent to keep you and your employees protected all summer long. While none of us can predict precisely the hazards we may face during this season, you can rest easier knowing that with KPA, comprehensive and preventative resources are available to you at any time.