Working during the summer months can be stressful among workers on the factory floor and also in the offices when air conditioners may not be working properly. Those long days of summer can be even more uncomfortable when you have limited office space or crowded work areas. You may need to take extra steps to ensure your employees are protected from common workplace injuries that can occur as temperatures start to rise.
Here are some safety standards to keep in mind with the higher temperatures during the summer months:
Slip and fall accidents can occur when there are puddles of water in working areas, slick floors because of humidity or moisture, and disorganization in common work areas. Make sure the cleaning crew is doing their job to clean up any spills, and make sure any wet patches in working areas are taken care of immediately. Keep work areas organized and make sure all workers know to move ladders, toolboxes and other equipment and supplies out of the main areas so there is a lower risk of accidents.
Workers who are on their feet all day on the manufacturing floor or working with industrial equipment are at a higher risk of sprains and fractures. When temperatures rise and the humidity and heat affect hydraulic systems and machinery, these workers need to be even more careful when operating machines. Make sure everyone is aware of safety standards and protocol to prevent sprains and fractures.
Cuts, open wounds and other minor injuries are commonplace when a worker is using heavy machinery and is under pressure to work faster or harder. Working in a hotter work environment can add to the stress which increases the risk of an injury or accident. Encourage workers to take regular breaks and have a first aid kit readily available for anybody that does end up getting a cut or an open wound. Make sure all workers are trained to handle first aid emergencies quickly and provide emergency contact information for anybody that might need immediate help on or off the manufacturing floor.
Older workers who have arthritis or those who have inflammation-related health problems may notice more symptoms during the summer months. Heat and humidity or constantly fluctuating temperatures during stormy weather can affect those who have tendonitis, arthritic conditions, and other inflammatory diseases. You can reduce the impact of the weather for these workers by scheduling frequent breaks for stretching, encouraging workers to pay attention to their health, and also ensuring there are enough staff available to handle shift rotations so workers are not overworked.
Being two of the most common health issues staff can encounter during summer months, heat exhaustion and dehydration are two of the most critical to watch out for. Supplying time for water breaks, time to cool down, and reminding employees the importance of staying cool and hydrated will not only ensure their safety, but will keep production at a steady flow as well.
If you need help with staffing issues during the summer — or beyond — get in touch with Bear Staffing for all your staffing needs.