15 Jun 17
Why Resting Under Shade Matters – ToolBox Talks
In 2014, OSHA kicked off an annual campaign to train and educate workers about heat stress management called Water. Rest. Shade. The following post will focus on shade.
Share this Toolbox Talk PDF (Topic: Water) with your crew to educate them on the importance of periodically seeking shelter from the sun during the workday.
It stands to reason that rested and cool workers are healthier, more efficient, and more productive. One way to make sure they are cool and comfortable is to let them rest in shade so the sun doesn’t sap their energy.
The Importance of Providing Shelter
When work must be done in the heat of the day, taking regular breaks and meals under the cover of shelters such as canopies, umbrellas and other temporary structures is important. So important, in fact, that states like Washington and California have regulations that require it.
Providing effective jobsite shade may require planning. Shelters should block direct sunlight with a purpose to provide a recovery area with access to fluids. Consider using areas with the natural shade of heavy tree cover or an awning or other temporary structure at the site. Taking advantage of extra items like our new misting system can cool your shelter up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient air. If the structures are air-conditioned, even better!
Avoid Extreme Heat
In extreme heat, working in the earlier (cooler) parts of the day – generally before 10 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. local time – can help. If that’s not possible, however, employ smart shift scheduling to move the most intense manual labor away from the hottest part of the day.
Workers can take the matter into their own hands (and heads) by wearing wide-brimmed hard hats, hard hat brim shades and lightweight clothing on their bodies. Applying sunscreen and wearing fast-drying clothes can let sweat evaporate quickly.
Utilizing a combination of natural and temporary shade devices can shield workers from harmful UV rays and help them stay stronger for longer.