Now that it’s getting warm out, customers are going to be pushing the limits of their AC systems more. It also means techs expect to be spending more time working outside. Here are a few ways for everyone to stay safe while working in the heat.
First, stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb is if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. It’s recommended to drink water before working outside and then drink one cup, or eight ounces, of water or electrolyte-rich liquids for every 15 minutes spent working outside. Also, stay hydrated after work as well – especially if you work outside in the heat on a regular basis. One word of caution is to not drink more than 48 ounces of water per hour. This may cause a medical problem if salt in the blood gets too low.
Dress for it
If you’re going to be outside all day, you need to wear appropriate gear and clothing. This means wearing breathable, comfortable clothing that’s protective, lightweight, and light-colored. Dark-colored clothing absorbs heat from sunlight, and heavy clothing also traps heat and wears you down faster. If you’re able, set up an umbrella or shade tent over your outside workspace. Some umbrellas, specifically designed with magnetic bases, easily stick to outdoor HVAC systems, and eliminate the need for bulky or cumbersome stands. This relief from the direct sunlight makes a world of difference.
If you’re working outside all day, taking breaks helps prevent heat exhaustion and workplace accidents. Don’t just tough it out. Build breaks into your daily schedule to encourage you and your team to stay cool, hydrated, and rested. Also, by utilizing wireless system monitoring technologies, it’s easy to connect tools on an outdoor unit and follow its readings from a shaded area or from indoors. The latest wireless tech sends a signal up to 1000’.
Know what to look for
Sometimes, just taking precautions isn’t enough. It’s important to know what symptoms to look for in both heat exhaustion and heatstroke. With heat exhaustion, keep an eye out for heavy sweating, paleness, and muscle cramps. If you start to notice these, head to a cool place and drink some fluids. More serious symptoms can include headaches, nausea, vomiting and fainting. These symptoms should be dealt with immediately. If you have a rapid heart rate, high body temperature or become confused, you could have heatstroke. This is a dangerous condition that could result in seizures or loss of consciousness.
Be safe out there
To learn more about signs of heat exhaustion, check out resources like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic for more information. We hope these pointers help you and your team stay safe and cool all summer long. If you want other ways to work faster and smarter, explore our catalog of products at Fieldpiece.com.