Keeping U.S. Infrastructure Workers Safe During Summer Heat Waves

The U.S. is in the middle of a hot summer, with road construction crews in their peak season to get work completed. Their safety is key when getting projects done as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Northwest has been hit especially hard with heat waves, most recently this coming week with the National Weather Service having heat advisories and excessive heat warnings in place for some parts of the Northwest.

Now, some companies are implementing certain gear to help cool down their workers. Ryan Overton who works for the Washington State Department of Transportation, WSDOT and spoke to Freightwaves said they have precautionary measures in place to help prevent heat-related incidents with his WSDOT inspectors and workers during the heat wave. Washington is one of the main statues that have been impacted the most with the brutal weather. For some projects, they can strictly do them during the late evening and overnight hours. Overton also mentioned they make sure their workers have extra water, and protective gear like cloth wipes containing built-in sunscreen, stay-cool towels, and sun shields attached to hardhats.

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) also partners with several companies to design, test, manufacture, and supply a variety of safety apparel and protective gear. Some of the garments are more high-tech than others. One high-tech garment is a neck towel, that after being dampened with cool water, can help keep a worker cool for about three hours, as it’s made with various engineered fabrics. There are other garments, such as detachable sleeves, that help protect workers’ forearms from sun exposure.

The heatwave this week in those areas won’t be as strong or widespread as the one that occurred a month ago (that had record highs in the triple digits), but truckers are still asked to be careful and do their best to stay as cool as possible, especially with the potential of more heat waves to come this summer. Contact us today if you have any questions!

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