As Spring arrives, more construction sites open and soon that means working in extreme summer heat. In 2021, in B.C. alone, 115 workers submitted claims to WorkSafeBC for heat stress.
To raise awareness on workplace injury and help keep workers safe on the job, the National Safety Council (NSC) publishes expert tips in June as an annual celebration of National Safety Month. The NSC recommends scheduling shorter shifts, ensuring workers stay hydrated, watching for signs of heat stroke and exhaustion, and ensuring sufficient breaks are taken. WorkSafeBC encourages employers to train employees on working in the heat, provide adequate first-aid coverage and monitor heat conditions among other tips to keep workers safe both indoors and out.
All of this is essential, but there’s more to keeping workers safe in extreme heat conditions. Safety gear for eyes, hands and head designed to make working under the sun safer and more comfortable is critical to maximize safety and productivity.
A Look into Eye Protection
Safety glasses do more than just protect workers’ eyes from projectiles, dust and other debris. They’re a critical tool for protecting workers’ vision when working in the sun. UV rays are particularly intense during the summer months, and without the right safety gear, workers are at risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer.
To ensure maximum protection, it’s important to look for safety glasses that offer at least 99% UV protection and feature a curved lens that can protect the eyes at all angles. A lightweight pair of glasses with lenses that transition seamlessly between indoor and outdoor settings ensures that workers stay protected at all times.
In Safe Hands
Construction workers who regularly use industrial tools and machinery are often unable to apply sunscreen to their hands as it could affect their grip. Still, it’s important to protect hands from sunburns and the increased risk of skin cancer.
A practical solution is safety gloves that provide thermal regulation and UV protection. Thermal-regulated gloves help absorb the radiation and allow heat to dissipate from the hands, keeping workers comfortable and safe while they work. Gloves that offer UV protection, like Kyorene Graphene gloves, provide protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer.
A Head Start on Head Protection
The right head protection is also important in keeping workers safe and comfortable during the summer heat. Safety gear made with heavy materials can block airflow, increase perspiration, cause dehydration, and risk of heat stroke, which may lead to workers removing safety equipment altogether.
The ideal safety headwear should be made with lightweight and breathable material with vents to allow airflow and slots to attach sweat bands for additional comfort.
Keep workers on your jobsites safe all summer with the WORKHORSE® line of safety products, including Indoor/Outdoor and Phantom safety glasses, thermal regulated Kyorene gloves, and hard hat accessories. Reach out to your local Bunzl Safety representative or contact us for recommendations on the best sun-safe PPE combination for your teams.