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How to work safely in the summer heat

Don’t expect your usual performance in hot weather.

With the warm weather approaching, many of us need to take extra care while working outside. Whether you are employed in an industry that requires you to work outdoors, or you’re an avid runner or gardener, taking extra precautions in the summer heat is important. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we have 25 years’ experience managing crews working outdoors in high heat.

So you can get your outdoor projects done safely this summer, we have compiled our top tips for staying cool in the heat.

Slow down

Don’t expect your usual performance in hot weather. Plan for tasks to take longer than usual, and for everyone on your team to take frequent breaks in the shade. Over time, your body will start to acclimatize to the heat, but start off slowly and work your way up.

Make a plan

Keep in mind it’s usually coolest in the morning, so try to schedule the most strenuous tasks for earlier in the day.

Start the day well hydrated

Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty. Avoid beverages with lots of caffeine or sugar, such as energy drinks and coffee, as they increase water loss and contribute to dehydration.

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Stay hydrated

Don’t be afraid to ask for water. If you’re out in the heat without water, go into a nearby restaurant or shop and ask to fill up your water bottle. To have cool water handy throughout the day, freeze a few water bottles and bring along your regular unfrozen water bottle. You can eat your water too: watermelon, cucumbers, celery and green peppers are all healthy snacks with very high water content.

Dress properly

Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing and a hat that offers shade in a breathable fabric. Apply sunscreen to any exposed skin 20 minutes before you head out.

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Protect your eyes

Sunglasses aren’t just for looking cool. Make sure your glasses provide UVA and UVB protection.

Pay attention to your ‘number ones’

The first signs of dehydration are thirst and dark urine.

Watch for symptoms

Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and stop working right away if you feel overheated. To help cool yourself down, place cold compresses behind your neck and run your forearms under cold water.

Andrea Hanft is a Public Relations Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and sister companies WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and You Move Me. Originally from Toronto, Andrea is very happy to be a Vancouver newbie, spending her weekends hiking and exploring the city. You can connect with her via LinkedIn

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