Appropriate training and adequate protection can go a long way toward keeping workers safe outside.
Sun & Heat
- Try to schedule your heaviest work for the coolest parts of the day. (Sunlight exposure is greatest between 10 am and 4 pm).
- Seek shade or create your own shaded work zone with umbrellas or overhead tents.
- Protect your body. Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and light-colored clothing. Full-length pants and long-sleeved shirts can prevent burns, stings, and bites.
- Rehydrate with water or electrolyte drinks every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher and water resistance.
Insects, Plants, Snakes:
Learn to identify local poisonous snakes, plants, and insects so that you can avoid them as you work outside.
- Wear boots, long pants, and long sleeves when working in tall grass or underbrush.
- Wear gloves when handling brush or debris.
- Apply insect repellent.
- Poisonous plant barrier skin creams, such as a lotion containing bentoquatum, may offer some protection before contact. (Barrier creams should be washed off and reapplied twice a day).
- Watch for Fire ants which will collect, float and bite in standing water.
- To prevent a snake bite do not try to handle any snake. Stay away from tall grass and piles of leaves when possible. Avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding and be aware that snakes tend to be active at night and in warm weather.
- If you are bitten, keep the insect or snake or be able to provide a description if the actual body is not available. This will help the medical professional determine the proper treatment.
Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!
by Renee’ Hudson