ON THE JOB SAFETY-HEAT
Published on July 5, 2021
ON THE JOB SAFETY-HEAT
Home inspectors are subject to the weather and elements during much of our routine; in the summer months we can experience high heat exposure during roof, exterior and attic inspections (and of course homes with no AC).
It is important to know how to avoid heat related illnesses, and to recognize when you need to cool down!
When heat waves roll through Ontario, it is important to adjust your routine to avoid heat related illnesses and be at your best on the job.
Hydrate! The best way to stay hydrated is to avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, and soft drinks – which rob your body of hydration. Instead, make sure you drink half of a litre of water (or sport drink) before work, and at least a litre during each inspection. Packing a cooler bag with water, ice packs and sport drinks
Don’t be a hero! We all need to move a little slower and more deliberately when under the stress of a heat wave. Don’t hesitate to take a break when needed, sit in the shade or retreat to the AC of the house or your vehicle if you start feeling unwell.
Dress right! Wear loose-fitting, light weight clothing, wear a hat in the sun and seek shade when you can. A cloth dampened with cool water on the back of your neck can help immensely.
Eat right! During heat waves, smaller meals are best; eat fruits and vegetables, avoid protein-heavy meals.
Know the signs! When you start to feel weak, sweat excessively, feel confusion or dizziness – it is time for a break. Cramps, flushed skin and confusion means it is time for a rest, cool down and rehydrate. If you pass this point and stop sweating, feel chills or have a rapid heartbeat or slurred speech, seek medical attention immediately.
Adjust your inspection technique. When temperatures soar, roofing materials become increasingly fragile; the potential for damaging roofing increases, as does the chance of getting burned touching the roof or falling from heights. Look for proven, alternate ways of inspecting a roof without walking it. Attics can pose a hazard to inspectors as well; avoid prolonged exposure to attic temperatures and be prepared to rest and hydrate when you descend your ladder.
Home inspectors brave the elements to get the job done, and we experience a vast range of working conditions. Remember to eat right, stay hydrated and keep your heat exposure to a minimum. If you have tips and tricks you would like to share with our OAHI colleagues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NB: This message is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner.