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Summer construction hazards: The right clothing is crucial

Summer is the busiest and the most dangerous time of the year for construction workers in California. Many contractors push their crews to the limits under the hot temperatures. Negligent drivers put workers at risk. It’s the prime time of the year to review safety precautions, but some employers push it to the side just to get a head start on projects.

You’ll likely see different clothing styles outside of the usual protective gear on the sites. Since it’s the hottest time of the year, it’s understandable why many might prefer to wear lighter or short-sleeved shirts during this season. However, there are challenges that don’t involve heat. Be aware of them to avoid injuries on site.

Sunburn

Even though sunburn is a condition nearly every construction worker has experienced, plenty of people don’t know how to properly counter it. Sunburn can occur on cooler days, too, if the sun is shining on you.

Aside from sunscreen, you need to wear clothing that can cover you up and block you from the burning UV rays. Darker clothing absorbs the sun’s rays faster, and the resulting burns can make it difficult to do your job.

Bug bites

Short-sleeved t-shirts are not the optimal clothing option on most construction sites. For those working on projects closer to the woods or areas with trees, summer is also the time of year where several insect species come out to bother anyone living near their homes.

Ticks can spread Lyme disease and bites from spiders and mosquitoes won’t do you any favors either. In these types of areas, you are better off wearing long-sleeved shirts that are light-colored so you can cover yourself and see what is trying to crawl on you.

Toxic plants

A long-sleeved shirt can also provide protection against dangerous plants such as poison ivy or sumac. Even though most construction sites do a decent job of clearing the area, there can be weeds and poisonous vegetation sticking out of the ground. You have to be very careful if you try burning it away as well, as inhaling the smoke of these plants can affect your breathing.

Employers need to scout out the area and warn their workers of these hazards before the project begins. Harmed workers should be aware of their options under workers’ compensation.

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