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With the hot days of summer ahead of us, it is important to remember how to stay safe in the endless summer heat. Just bringing a water bottle with you will not protect you from the harsh summer elements. Safety is a constant concern while at the construction site, and with these summer safety tips you can secure the safety of yourself and your crew.

Tips for Working in the Summer

Skin Protection and Sunscreen

The first tip might seem super obvious, but it’s often overlooked. And that is to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of  your skin. This doesn’t mean just once before you head out to the site. It’s essential that you reapply sunscreen throughout the day to get the full benefits and protection it offers.

Dermatologists recommend the daily use of sunscreen to prevent photoaging and skin cancer. It’s important to remember that sunscreen acts as a filter and can’t block out sun rays completely. The SPF number is how you figure out how much of the sun’s UVB rays are actually hitting your skin. For example, with SPF 30 it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen.

Although depending on how long you’ll be outside, SPF 30 may be far too weak to protect you from UV damage.

Sunscreen is a great line of defense, however, it isn’t the only way to keep safe from the sun. Shade also provides protection from the heat that radiates from the sun. In fact, the shade tends to be 10-15 degrees cooler than being out in the sun. If shade is not an option, wearing a hat or clothing to cover exposed areas of skin can provide plenty of protection from the sun.

Drink More Fluids and Watch What You Eat

More summer safety tips include monitoring your diet and fluids. Not just for safety, but also for health reasons. Staying hydrated is necessary for those who are working directly in the heat. So drink plenty of water. Garnishing the water with lemon or lime can replenish the body with lost electrolytes, as can sports drinks such as Gatorade or Pedialyte.

Additionally, it’s also beneficial to avoid high-fat and greasy meals such as cheeseburgers or pizza. These types of meals force the body to use more energy to digest them.

Rest Thoroughly and Schedule Smart

Our next two summer safety tips is rest and smart scheduling. Rest is obviously important for many reasons. Sleep energizes and heals the body, which helps the body handle heat more efficiently. A solid eight hours of sleep can greatly improve performance at the worksite. It also guarantees REM sleep, which is crucial for healthy brain development, memory, and emotional processing.

Along with getting enough sleep, taking breaks can be valuable for crew members. This allows individuals time to cool down from the sun and avoid heat exhaustion. However, it is important to note that radical shifts from hot to cold and back to hot again make the body work harder to adjust. So instead of retreating straight into an air conditioned area, it’s better to retreat to some shade.

In addition to breaks and getting enough sleep, it’s important to establish a set schedule. During the summer the hottest parts of the day are typically between noon and 3 p.m. It would be better to use this time frame to take a lunch break when possible or even find indoor or shaded work to do until the sun is past its peak.

Know the Signs

Above all else, pay attention to yourself and others around you. Overheating, heat strokes, and other heat illnesses can hit fast if you don’t know the signs. If you’re feeling symptoms of hot skin, tiredness, heat cramps, accelerated heart rate, mental confusion, or slurred speech, stop what you’re doing and retreat to the shade and rehydrate. And if necessary, do not hesitate to dial 911.

Ignoring these warning signs can result in serious injury. It’s important to make sure that you discuss and educate yourself and others about these warning signs.

Staying safe in the summer isn’t hard, however, sometimes you need a reminder of what you’re overlooking in your daily routine. Remember these tips and share them with your team to help protect your crew against the summer heat.

Safety is a Top Priority for U.S. Bridge

For over eight decades U.S. Bridge has dedicated itself to the safety of our crew, this guarantees the best quality bridges are perfect for any situation. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise will fit the needs of your project.

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

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Every year in May the industry brings attention to different ways we can keep construction workers safe with Construction Safety Week. Although it often focuses on ways we can keep workers safe physically, it also covers mental health issues within the industry as well.

In celebration of this, here are some tips on how construction workers can stay safe and build a more secure industry.

Construction Safety Week 2022

This year, in particular, the theme “Connected. Supported. Safe.” is meant to emphasize mental health safety by encouraging workers to build connections and support within the industry.

In fact, a study conducted by CIRP revealed that 83% of construction workers struggle with mental health issues. As the world and the industry still slowly recover from COVID-19, it’s not surprising that many are bringing attention to this topic.

Connected. Supported. Safe.

Build Connections

Not only do we urge workers to stay connected with their loved ones but we also strongly suggest building connections with fellow crew members. Without a doubt, connection brings comfort, and this brings peace of mind. But building connections within your team and even better, the industry, allows for more open and honest discussions.

This leads to having a healthy work environment where a foundation of care goes beyond profits. In turn, this builds a stronger and safer crew and work environment.

Be Supportive

Though the topic of mental health might feel taboo or negative, the first step is starting the discussion. Discussion allows workers to identify any potential struggles in themselves and helps them to find an appropriate solution. Support crewmates by hearing them out, allowing for a safe and informed workplace.

When a crew member supports another crew member, it is likely to become even more support for the team as a whole. This will also give workers the courage to speak up against unsafe work conditions.

Stay Safe

Safety is the overarching theme, but what does it mean to be safe?

Each crew member has a duty to be constantly aware of any hazardous conditions that might harm the project and fellow crewmates. Communication creates a safer worksite, both verbal and written communication help. But also signage indicating on-site hazards can create a safer work environment.

Supervision is also crucial to any safe worksite. Defining and enforcing safety procedures is essential. A safety-conscious supervisor is capable of enforcing safety procedures. They can also keep an eye on operations, and take corrective action when a worker fails to follow proper procedures.

Continue Learning

What makes an industry safe and successful is when members share new discoveries and methods with each other. Sharing lessons on new innovations on common issues or streamlining tasks will make it a safer and more efficient industry. It will also permit continuous learning. This will ensure workers of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures can join together in making the construction world a much safer place to work.

Take the time to make safety a priority at your worksite. Enforcing safety procedures and standards creates a safer workplace and decreases the chance for error. Starting a conversation on mental health makes for more self-aware crews. Awareness is one of the most important tools to help supervisors support mental health in their worksite.

Stay Safe with a Reliable Team

Throughout our decades of high-quality manufacturing, we have made safety a priority above all else. Our workers and leaders work together in a healthy and collaborative atmosphere. This is how we create the best-prefabricated bridges that the industry has to offer.

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

Even as temperatures drop, construction work continues. It’s important for worker safety and health, and job productivity for all workers to stay warm as much as possible during winter construction.

While job efficiency is important, an even more important factor is worker health. Without healthy employees, a whole construction can get disrupted and cause delays. The health of any worker is a crucial area of concern during the cold winter months.

Here are five ways that a construction worker can stay warm during the cold winter months:

1. Watch Fingers & Toes

The most exposed parts of our bodies, our extremities, are often the most vulnerable in cold weather. When it’s cold, it forces our bodies to work harder to keep blood flowing to our core.

That means exposed areas such as our fingers and toes are prone to suffer from a cold-related injury such as chilblains or frostbite. Wool socks and warm gloves are the first lines of protection against the cold. If one pair of gloves isn’t enough, look into glove liners.

Also, consider using composite-toe boots as opposed to steel-toed boots during winter construction. Steel-toed boots can exacerbate the cold by not keeping your toes warm. Though a steel toe does offer more protection for your toes, a composite toe boot will keep your toes warm throughout the cold day. Hand warmers and feet warmers can also help keep you warm. Plus, they can be easily concealed.

2. Stay Dry

Nothing is worse than being cold and wet at the same time, especially on cold and slushy days. Sometimes winter construction means snow, sleet, rain, or a messy combination of all three. If it’s not bad enough to shut down the site for the day, be sure to stay dry.

Wearing moisture-wicking material close to your skin will help keep moisture from lowering body temperature. One last way to stay dry is probably the most obvious, but goes without saying; invest in a waterproof outer layer as well for even more protection against damp weather.

3. Have Extra Pairs of Everything

Imagine yourself waking up on a cold winter morning, you are getting ready for the workday, and you put on your favorite pair of long johns, and you find a giant hole in the most inconvenient spot. Now you have to go through the day with a giant hole in your long johns, exposing yourself to a cold, damp tundra.

Avoid this nightmare situation by investing in extra pairs of gloves, socks, liners, moisture-wicking material, and of course, long johns. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, so some of these extra items might be used to double up when it gets frigid for extra warmth.

4. Keep Your Head and Neck Covered

As mentioned in our first tip, keeping your extremities covered is vital to staying warm and often overlooked extremities are our ears and neck. Ears get cold extremely fast and while it’s a myth that you lose a majority of your heat through your head, it’s still wise to keep your head covered while out in the cold. Earmuffs, a warm scarf and a turtleneck will go a long way to insulating your body heat while enduring the cold weather.

Ears can be overlooked as an extremity, but they can get cold fast.

5. Fuel Your Body

Have a thermos with you of a hot beverage or soup to help you stay warm. Your body uses a lot of energy when you’re working, especially in the cold so it’s important to have hot beverages and meals to fuel your body. Eat an extra meal or consume hot caffeinated beverages to help you stay warm and also fight the lethargy of the cold.

During winter construction, it also helps to take frequent breaks and give crews somewhere to get warm. Make sure your workers are aware of the signs of overexposure and what to do.

All of these things will help to keep you warm on a construction site.

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we work hard to meet the needs of our staff, our customers, and the industry with our attention to detail, our high-quality materials, and our skills.

Interested in starting your project with us? Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.