Summer is the most popular time to move – which means moving crews have to work extra hard in the summertime heat. This is more than an inconvenience. It can be a true health hazard. Take steps to protect your crew from dangerous complications like heat stroke.
Don’t let a heat wave catch your crew off guard. Monitor the weather forecast. When the temperature is expected to climb, it’s time to put these tips into action.
Avoid working outside in the afternoon.
The hottest time of the day is usually around 3:00 pm. On the hottest days on summer, this is not a good time to be doing heavy lifting outside. You might need to adjust the schedule to take the heat into account. The mornings are usually cooler, so try to schedule moves as early in the day as possible.
Bring lots of water and other cooling aids.
Water is always important, but this is especially true when the temperatures soar. Make sure your crew has access to plenty of water – and drinks it. You may also want to pack a cooler of damp towels that your team can place on their necks during breaks. If you will be working inside without air conditioning, consider bringing along some portable fans.
Dress for the weather.
What your crew wears can make a big difference. Just imagine working in a tight, black, polyester uniform on a hot day – it’s not a comfortable thought. Instead, go for lightweight, loose-fitting uniforms, and pick fabrics that breathe well, like cotton or linen.
Sunglasses can make working outside on a sunny day easier. They can also help protect the eyes from damage caused by UV rays, making them a must for summer moves.
Hats are important, too. Just as with clothes, you want to avoid anything that doesn’t breathe well, but you also need something that protects both the face and neck from the sun.
The right clothes can shield you from the sun, but you’ll probably still have some exposure. Don’t forget to use sunscreen.
Know the Signs of Heat Sickness
According to the CDC, overexposure to outdoor heat can cause a variety of health problems, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Someone suffering from heat cramps will experience muscle pain or spasms and may also exhibit heavy sweating.
- Someone suffering from heat exhaustion may experience headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, clammy skin and heavy sweating. Their pulse way be fast but weak. In some cases, fainting may occur.
- Heat stroke is even more serious and requires immediate medical attention. The symptoms can include a fast and strong pulse, a temperature of 103° or higher and skin that is hot, red, damp or dry.
If someone is showing signs of heat sickness, action is required. The person should take a break in a cool place and drink water. It may also be necessary to use wet cloths or a bath to cool down, and any tight clothes should be loosened. In some cases, medical attention may be necessary, especially if symptoms don’t improve or get worse.
The CDC says you should call 911 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Learn more about the signs of heat sickness and the best treatment at the CDC site. Then educate your crew on heat sickness. Have them look out for themselves and each other, and make sure appropriate action is taken as soon as early warning signs are observed.