Summer heat can put a strain on rental property maintenance personnel onsite so here are some tips to keep your team safe.
Something that isn’t talked about nearly enough in our industry is taking care of our team members working outside in the heat.
Temperatures on a roof or inside an attic can range from 20-30 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature. From extreme heat to urgent needs such as air conditioning repair, our maintenance and onsite teams are faced with extreme working conditions during our busiest time of year.
Here are a few tips to keep people safe and healthy throughout the hot summer months.
Provide and Promote Proper Hydration & Sun Protection
Avoid caffeinated beverages and drink more water, juice, and sports drinks prior to and throughout the workday. Sweating removes needed salt and minerals from the body which need to be replenished. Have electrolyte beverages on hand for your team. When working outside, wear a hat and sunscreen and utilize cooling towels and shirts with cooling sleeves to keep cool.
Offer Flex Summer Hours & Show You Care
Show your team you care by saying thank you, offering refreshing treats and providing flexible hours. Scheduling outdoor maintenance as early as possible is key to avoiding heat and sun exposure throughout the midday. Offering flexible summer hours will allow people to start and end their day earlier and avoid working during the hottest time of the day.
Ensure Team Members Have a Place to Cooldown & Encourage Breaks
For every hour spent in the heat, another hour should be taken to cool down. Be sure team members have an air-conditioned indoor space or shaded environment with air movement for cooling down. The time spent in the heat should be balanced with the amount of time in a cool down space.
Stay in Contact and Know Your Team’s Whereabouts
Know the location of your team members and vendors working onsite at all times and be sure to check in on them frequently.
Know the Warning Signs for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Faint or dizziness, excessive sweating, cool, pale, clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, rapid, weak pulse, and muscle cramps are all signs of heat exhaustion. Throbbing headache, no sweating, body temperature above 103 degrees, red, hot, dry skin, nausea or vomiting, rapid, strong pulse, and loss of consciousness are all signs of heat stroke.
What To Do if Someone is Suffering from Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke
If someone is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, get them to a cooler, air-conditioned place immediately. Provide water and cold compresses to cool down. If someone is experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 and take immediate action to cool the person until help arrives. In either case, stay with the person and do not leave them alone.
About the author:
Casey Hale is the Maintenance Director for P.B Bell and is responsible for the training and mentoring of the maintenance staff.