Hey, sailor, it’s hot outside…

You may have noticed, but just in case you haven’t – it’s HOT outside.  As I’m writing this, I took a look at a forecast map for today.

Yep.  Don’t look for snowfall just yet.  A high of 92 in Rapid City today, and it’s just going to keep getting warmer.

Our business requires working outside.  You probably rarely, if ever, get called to use a backhoe inside of an air conditioned building.  (If you do, let me know and we’ll do a blog on you)

As always, getting buried lines and cables safely flagged by 811 is just part of the job.  The other part involves safe digging around those buried lines and cables, and this time of year, it also involves taking care of yourself out in the heat.

Here are a some tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation at http://www.skincancer.org for outdoor workers:

  1. Outside jobs can sometimes be done inside or moved to a shady location. A temporary shelter can be erected or trees and buildings used for protection.
    2.A shady spot should be available for lunch and coffee breaks.
    3. Reorganize the job so tasks requiring outdoor work get done in the morning before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., to avoid the hours of greatest sun intensity.
    4. Wear protective clothing and cover the skin.
    5. Long-sleeved, closely woven shirts and long trousers provide the best protection.
    6. Avoid clothes that you can see light through. If light is getting through, the ultraviolet radiation is getting through as well.
    7. If shorts are worn, a pair that approaches the knee will offer more protection than a shorter pair.
    8. A collar will protect the skin on the back of the neck.
    9. Wear a hat and sunglasses
    10. A hat will keep the sun off the face, neck and ears. It will also protect bald spots.
    11. Broad-brimmed hats are best.  The brim should be at least three inches wide.
    12. If a lot of bending is required, have a flap on the back of the hat, which will keep the sun off the back of the neck.
    13. Hardhats can have a flap or extra brim fitted to them.
    14. Use sunglasses or safety glasses that filter out UV rays.
    15. Use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen before going outdoors.
    16. Use a water-resistant sunscreen when working with water or when perspiring.
    17. Some substances increase the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. These include industrial chemicals such as asphalt and diphenyls, and some medications. A water-resistant sunscreen will help give protection when there is likely to be skin contact with these substances.
    18. Choose a gel, stick or lotion form of sunscreen according to personal preference; no one form is more effective than another.
    19. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. If sweating freely, reapply more often.
    20. Make sure the face, lips, neck, ears, arms and back of the hands are protected.
    21. Ultraviolet radiation bounces off water, sand, concrete, light-colored surfaces and snow.  People who work near these areas will need to take extra care.

Well, you’re not likely to get any ultraviolet bouncing off snow for a while, but still…take care out there!

Until next week, safe digging!


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