Minnesota’s summer brings with it a myriad of work-related health risks including sun exposer, heat, and even Lyme disease. As an employer, you should be made aware of the potential dangers that this season presents to your employees. Measures should be put in place to protect both you and the people who occupy your workplace.
How to cope with ultraviolet (UV) radiation
Overexposure to the sun has been linked to premature aging of the skin, cataracts, and skin cancer. Workers who spend hours outside exposed to the sun may develop skin irritation or worse. To cope with this, it is recommended that your workers take the following preventative measures:
- Wear clothes that cover most of the body to minimize the amount of harmful rays penetrating the skin.
- Wear a brim hat to cover the face and neck.
- If possible, wear UV-absorbent sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen to areas of skin that experienced sun exposure.
- Minimize sun exposure to only a few hours. Bear in mind the most harmful rays appear between 10am and 4pm.
How to cope with excess heat
Individuals who work in a kitchen or outdoors may have a difficult time adjusting to the heat. Following these tips will help your employees feel more comfortable:
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids.
- When it gets too hot, take a break in a cool shade.
- Wear light, loose fitting clothes to allow the body to cool.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and minimize sugar intake.
- Eat smaller meal portions, especially before grueling labor.
- When wearing work suits or respirators, avoid working directly under the sun if possible.
How to cope with ticks
Staff working outdoors risk receiving tick bites and catching Lyme disease. If you work outdoors (especially near wildlife), how can you avoid tick bites?
- Use a strong repellent on clothing and wear long pants, long sleeves and socks.
- When working outdoors, avoid bushy areas or moist and humid environments.
- Perform a physical check after spending time in a tick-infested environment.
- Shower immediately when you get to the house. Take precautions to ensure you do not take any ticks into your home.