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Beat that heat

By Melissa Babcock

My resume reads like a list of Edmonton office buildings for a reason: I’m not big on being outside, never mind working outside in the summer. I blame the fact that I am a pale redhead with vampire-like skin, likely to burn in minutes without the highest SPF that money can buy. Once the hot summer months hit, you’re likely to find me indoors in front of a fan, only venturing out if there’s a patio, a large umbrella and maybe a nice cold drink involved.

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Mmmm, refreshing. 

Thankfully, not everyone feels the way I do! Given Alberta’s long, cold winters, summertime is when a lot of outdoor work gets done in our cities and towns, such as landscaping, construction and road work – when else will all those potholes get filled? Whether you’re a seasonal employee working long hours or a student trying to make a few extra bucks during break, working outside in the summer can be hazardous to your health if you fail to take a few safety precautions:

  • Dress for the temperature! Wear light-weight shorts and T-shirts in pale colours (black absorbs sunlight and heat). Put on a hat to help protect yourself from sunburn and sunglasses to keep harmful UV rays out of your eyes.
  • Always have bug spray handy for those pesky blood-suckers, as well as sunblock with a high SPF.
  • Water is not just for swimming. Make sure you have plenty of cool liquids available to drink. Avoid caffeine or sugary drinks as they speed up dehydration – a big bottle of water is best!
  • If you start to feel dizzy or nauseated, take a break immediately. Find some shade and a cool drink and rest. If you don’t feel better within a few minutes, seek medical attention.

If you’re safe and careful, working outside this summer will be a breeze! Speaking of breezes, I’ll be parked in front of an industrial-sized fan until fall if you need me. Enjoy the heat!

Source: http://workplacesafetyexperts.com/workplace-safety-tips/workplace-summer-safety-tips/

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