Early July brings blistering hot temperatures to areas all over the country. Often referred to as the Dog Days of Summer, this seasonal heat wave creates a less than ideal work environment for employees who work in the sun, buildings with no air conditioning or any other environment that can get very hot. Finding relief from the extreme summer temperatures is necessary to maintain productivity and eliminate any chance of heat exhaustion for your employees.
When your workdays reach a high of 90 degrees or above, try the tips below to keep your workforce cool and productive:
- Educate your staff on the importance of staying hydrated and taking breaks to refresh and cool off.
- Make sure your staff is aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as confusion, dizziness, muscle cramps and nausea.
- If they primarily work outside, encourage your employees to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Implement flexible schedules or summertime hours, like starting the day earlier to avoid some of the hot weather.
- Provide your staff members with a cold treat—freeze pops and ice cream are two options.
- Keep the water cooler full or the workplace fridge stocked with bottled water, and recommend to your employees to drink at least eight cups of water per day.
- Buy employees moisture-wicking shirts, cooling headbands and reusable insulated water bottles to stay cool.
- Put multiple fans in areas that aren’t air conditioned to circulate cool air.
- If within company safety policy and dress code, allow team members to wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
CAI members provided many of the tips above through CAI’s list serve, a member benefit that enables participants to ask peers at member companies for advice, recommendations and best practices for their organizations. Recent topics members have discussed on the list serve include employee service awards, I-9 auditing procedures, workplace fraternization and many more. For additional information about a CAI membership and signing up for the list serve, please contact an account manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-667-7746.
Workplace Insights will take a break on Thursday, July 5. A new post will be up Tuesday, July 10. Please enjoy the July 4th holiday!
Photo Source: Stewart Black