Summertime is one of the busiest times for maintenance workers. With HVAC systems overworked and outdoor spaces needing additional care, we are often booked to the maximum every day. However, this can pose several risks for the maintenance team on your job site. We ask that all clients help us promote a safe and productive work environment by following these general guidelines for maintenance work during the summer:
Begin early and take breaks often
The morning is the best time to complete outdoor maintenance work in the summer. The day will not be at its hottest until late afternoon, and plenty of work can be done in the first few hours of the day to prevent overexertion in the heat. By starting early (as early as you are allowed on your property), your maintenance team will have to take fewer breaks in the summer heat. It is important, however, to allow for breaks as the afternoon rolls on to ensure a safe work environment.
One of the most common causes of fatigue, passing out, and other heat-related work incidents are dehydration. If a work crew is not given enough breaks for water and food, they will work less effectively and may even hurt themselves in the process. This is especially dangerous for roofing or HVAC repair services where the tasks must be done in dangerous locations. Always give your maintenance team time for water breaks and a lunch break for their safety.
Many of us skip sunscreen unless we’re planning a day at the beach, but it should be worn at all times when working in the sun. This not only protects workers from the dangers of skin diseases and cancers but will allow them to work longer in the heat. A sunburn is a serious issue and can limit the number of hours your maintenance team can work. If handy, offer them sunscreen every few hours to ensure your team is well taken care of.
Look out for signs of heatstroke
Though rare, heatstroke can happen to workers who have been in the sun for too long. Typically, heatstroke symptoms will show early before the individual passes out. They may include nausea, slurred speech, irritability, flushed skin, rapid heart rate, and heavy breathing. If a maintenance technician reports any of these signs in themselves or another worker, take action immediately.
By following these simple steps you can help your maintenance team work more efficiently. MaintenX always follows these procedures, and we always appreciate it when our clients do the same. For more workplace safety tips, visit our resource center.