Beat the heat on site


Summer in New Zealand can bring high temperatures which can take a toll on the body. It’s essential to understand how the body reacts to extreme temperatures and what you can do to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke. We’ve put together some things that will help you beat the heat on-site this summer.

Stay hydrated

This may be the most obvious tip but it’s also the most important. Staying hydrated is crucial to avoid heat exhaustion. You should be keeping up with your fluids every 15-20 minutes. You can also drink sports drinks like Powerade to restore electrolytes. Ice is your friend, so put this in your drink bottle before work to keep your drink cool during the day.

Wear the right gear

You’ll still need to make sure you are wearing your work-approved garments for health and safety measures, however, choosing light coloured, lightweight clothing can provide more breathability. Moisture-wicking clothing is another great option as it draws sweat away from the body and allows your body to cool quicker.

Start earlier

If possible, try to avoid working at the hottest times of the day. Changing your work hours to start earlier in the hottest months when the temperature is lower will help reduce fatigue. If you have a mixture of indoor and outdoor work, try to plan ahead by looking at the weather forecast and see which days you should work indoors to avoid extreme temperatures.

Take breaks

Taking regular breaks to rest and recover is important to prevent your body from reaching high temperatures. Make sure you are resting in the shade and take the time to cool your body down. Use this time to rehydrate and fuel your body with lighter meals as high fat and heavy food will leave you feeling bloated and nauseous.

Know the warning signs

When you are working in extreme heat it is important to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses. Some of these symptoms can include rapid pulse, headache, confusion, muscle cramps, nausea, unconsciousness. Make sure you are aware of all of these symptoms, as not only can they cause serious health issues but they can also cause workers to be less alert and may result in other construction-related injuries.

Most heat-related illnesses can be avoided by taking precautions and catching them in enough time and treating these symptoms seriously.

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