As summer continues in full force, it is important to consider methods to keep workers protected from heat related illness while wearing face coverings.
Here are some tips to keep employees working outside or in labor intensive positions healthy in the heat:
- Ensure fans are not blowing air downstream from one employee to others. This can increase the risk of the spread of respiratory droplets.
- Increase the quantity and frequency of breaks to avoid heat stress and heat related illness. Set break times in intervals to allow for social distancing.
- Allow employees to return to their vehicles to sit in air conditioning during breaks. If this option is unfeasible, create a shaded environment for breaks.
- Suggest that employees remove their masks during secluded break, such as breaks in personal vehicles, to potentially lower their core temperature. State and local mask guidelines must be followed.
- Consider starting the workday earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid working during peak temperature and humidity.
- Provide a readily available supply of masks to allow employees to change out sweat-soaked masks for clean dry masks, which may have greater breathability.
- Consider providing work clothing that is breathable and moisture wicking.
Spencer-SHE’s team of experts is available for heat stress program development and implementation with considerations for COVID-19 safety practices. Contact us today to learn more about our compliance services!