How Roofers Can Avoid the Summertime Blues

As a matter of course, roofers work outside, exposed to the elements. And these elements aren’t always very friendly, particularly in the summers. Roofers are often subjected to being beat down by the sun, with little or no natural shade to keep them cool. When working long hours, this ceases to become an annoyance and becomes dangerous. So it’s vital that roofers take steps to prevent themselves from overheating while on the job.

The most important and most obvious step to stave off the heat is to consume plenty of fluids. In general, it’s recommended that the average person drink eight glasses of water per day, but these standards are revved up for those who are working outside. In fact, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends that people working outside drink five to seven glasses of water per hour on the hottest days (i.e. 103 degrees Fahrenheit and higher). Workers should refrain from drinking soft drinks and other beverages containing caffeine and high amounts of sugar, as these can lead to dehydration.

It’s also key to dress appropriately on a hot day. Roofers should wear the lightest possible clothing, making sure to avoid wearing dark shirts, as this makes being caught in the sun extra oppressive. A white cotton shirt is ideal. Wearing a wet rag around the neck also helps to prevent overheating. Other clothing articles that can be of use include hats and a white shirt wrapped around the head.

Also, when multiple roofers are on the job, the day should be broken up into reasonable shifts of no longer than an hour, allowing workers to alternate. When not working, the roofers can use this downtime to hydrate themselves and wind down.

Before going to work, a good meal consisting of fruits, vegetables and grains can help to prevent heat exhaustion later in the day.

Finally, employers can take their own steps to keep their roofers safe. This includes scheduling more strenuous tasks for earlier in the day, when it’s cooler out, have appropriate emergency procedures in case of heat stroke, exhaustion and so on and being prompt in treating heat-related illnesses (as seemingly benign as a slight headache).

In the summer months, roofers are subjected to incredibly demanding conditions, and the heat typically proves to be the most severe of these. Heat-related medical emergencies are serious, and it would be for the best if they were prevented altogether in the first place. In order to this, roofers should stay hydrated, dress appropriately, eat a healthy diet and take ample time to recuperate. In addition, employers should be prepared to address heat-related problems as they arise, as well as taking proper precautions to keep roofers out of danger.