Summer in Canada is a time for fun outdoor activities. But this is also a time when workers, especially outdoor workers in construction, mining, traffic, etc., have to contend with summer hazards, namely: bugs and sun burns.
Protection from Bug Bites
Bugs such as mosquitoes and ticks are not just annoying; they are also disease-carrying hazards for workers. Bug prevention should be a part of your summer safety program. Fortunately, preventing bug bites can be as simple as following these summer safety tips:
Apply insect repellent – There are many types of insect repellent. What you should look out for are the natural ingredients contained in the product that are safe for the skin and won’t cause irritation. Another factor is the hours of protection each product offers. Insect repellent comes in 3 hours to 8 hours of protection. Remember to re-apply repellent if you’ll be working outside for a longer period.
Wear the right clothes – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when working outside especially in wooded areas. Tuck your pants into your shoes or socks to prevent crawling insects from getting inside. You can even apply special insect repellent on your clothes to keep the bugs out. Avoid brightly coloured clothes that are attractive to bees and other insects.
Destroy mosquito breeding grounds – Remove stagnant water in your work areas. These stagnant waters are often used by mosquitoes as breeding grounds for their young. Prevent these bugs from multiplying by getting rid of their nursing areas.
Protection from Sun Burns
Working under the heat of the sun for hours is not safe for anyone. Skin diseases from simple sun burns to skin cancer may result due to over exposure to hazardous UV rays. Here are a few ideas for protecting your skin while working under the summer sun:
Apply sunscreen protection – Protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Both UV radiations pose dangers to the skin from premature aging to skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen with higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor) if you expect to be working under the sun for a long time. SPF refers to the amount of time before the UVB rays reddens the skin, the more the SPF, the better.
Wear protective clothing – Wear a hat and cover your arms and legs to prevent sun exposure. Choose natural fabrics that allow air circulation such as cotton. Protect your eyes from the harsh glare with tinted safety glasses or UV-protected sunglasses.
Re-hydrate – During summer, you tend to sweat a lot and this causes fluid loss. You need re-hydrate by drinking lots of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these liquids may cause dehydration.
Include these tips on your summer workplace safety program and you’ll be on your way to a hassle-free summer work season.
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