Beat the heat when working outdoors

The combination of sun and heat can be dangerous to groundskeepers and other classified school employees who spend most of their time working outdoors during summer and warmer months.

The sun contains ultraviolet rays that may cause skin cancer. If you spend a lot of time working outdoors, make sure you cover up with tightknit clothing. This type of cloth can help keep the sun’s harmful rays off the skin. Natural fabrics, such as cotton, can still help keep you cool while protecting you from the sun.

Wear a hat and sunglasses. A wide-brim hat will protect your face, eyes and neck. Did you know that your eyes can also get sunburned? That’s why you should always remember to wear shades that block at least 99 percent of UV rays.

Make sure that any part of your body that is exposed to the sun is protected by sunscreen. A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 is recommended.

Once you make sure that you’re protected from the sun, take some steps to make sure that you’re protected from the heat. Drink plenty of water. Do this even before you get thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated.

Take breaks in the shade as you need them. Although there is always a lot of work that needs to be done before the end of the day, your well being should always come first. Remember, working outdoors during the warm months can be pleasant, but make sure that you always take the proper precautions to ensure that your health isn’t compromised.