Five ways to safely transition your workplace to summer
Follow these safety tips to ensure your business and workers are ready for the season.
The onset of summer means warmer temperatures and longer days. For most, it might mean fewer layers, more time outdoors, and a change to the day-to-day routines.
But a transition to the warmer season could also signal something else: an increased risk of certain types of injuries.
“It’s important to assess your workplace for risks – even the tasks that are done routinely,” says Siobhan Murphy, SAIF senior safety management consultant.
Here are five ways help keep your employees and workplace safe as you transition to summer:
Sprains and strains
Safety tip: Practice safe lifting and ergonomics
Whether you’re closing your classroom for a few months or opening outdoor seating at your restaurant, transitioning to summer is likely to involve some rearranging. When these tasks come up, it’s important to practice safe lifting techniques, including limiting the weight of your load, positioning loads near the body, and getting help from carts and co-workers when needed.
Read more about ergonomics in the workplace at saif.com/ergo.
Safety tip: Design a heat stress prevention plan
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to protect workers from heat-related illnesses, including access to shade and drinking water. Need help designing your heat stress prevention plan? SAIF policyholders can contact their SAIF safety team for assistance.
There’s more you can do to protect your team from heat illness, whether they’re out on the farm, construction site, or even inside on a hot day. Some steps include providing annual training on the risk factors of heat stress and including heat events in your emergency response plans.
Burns, bites, and other skin damage
Safety tip: Wear appropriate clothing and PPE
When you spend time outside, it’s important to take steps to ensure you’re preventing skin damage and lowering your risk of cancer. Learn more facts about sun protection. You can also find out how to prevent stings and bites on our outdoor safety page.
What you wear isn’t just important for when you’re outdoors. From safety glasses to shoes, find everything you need to know about personal protective equipment (PPE) and which tools to use on the job at saif.com/ppe.
Safety tip: Rearrange shift schedules and encourage good sleep
Longer daylight hours can make sleep more difficult. Employers should encourage good sleep among employees. Learn how fatigue impacts work and how you can prevent it in your workplace on our fatigue, sleep, and shiftwork page.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Working extended shifts or extended periods can prolong exposure to workplace hazards such as noise, heat, chemicals, and others. NIOSH offers a training on how to reduce the risks associated with long work hours, including how to recognize signs and symptoms of fatigue, using the buddy system, and encouraging fatigued workers to take breaks without repercussions.
Safety tip: Enhance your training and onboarding program
School is almost out, and many teenagers will be seeking employment during the summer months. Did you know workers between 15 and 25 years old are injured on the job more often than their older coworkers?
“Less experienced workers may not know that employers welcome feedback on conditions that might raise safety risks,” Murphy says.
For more safety topics and tips, head to saif.com/safety.