Tag Archives: Safety

Summer Safety: Protecting Employees from Record-Breaking Heat

As temperatures soar to shocking levels with parts of California recently reaching a scorching 128 degrees Fahrenheit, it cannot be overstated how high a priority worker safety should be for HR. This year’s record-breaking heat is nothing short of dangerous, especially for employees with outdoor duties. Human Resources must implement safety protocols to keep employees safe from extreme heat and other hazards commonly seen in summer.

Extreme Heat Dangers

Being exposed to high temperatures for too long can cause major health concerns like heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration. Obviously outdoor workers are much more vulnerable, but even indoor workers are not immune when venturing outside for breaks or long commutes.

HR Safety Checklist

For the sake of employees, HR must be proactive in implementing safety procedures during the summer months:

  1. Awareness and Training:
    • Awareness Campaigns: Use campaigns so employees know the signs of heat-related sickness while encouraging hydration.
    • Training Programs: Offer trainings on heat safety, including how to know when a heat emergency is occurring and how to respond.
  2. Work Schedule Changes:
    • Flexibility: Flexible work hours can enable outdoor employees to work during parts of the day that are less oppressive, such as early in the morning or later in the evening.
    • Breaks: It should be made clear that workers should not be shy about taking breaks, and taking them often.
  3. Hydration:
    • Water Stations: Have hydration stations with lots of water as well as electrolyte drinks easily accessible at work sites.
    • Encouragement: It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re busy. Encourage employees to drink water often, even when not thirsty.
  4. The Right Gear:
    • Cool Clothing: Provide light, airy clothes, hats and sunglasses to protect workers from the harmful summer sun.
    • Sunscreen: Have sunscreen with a high SPF available at sites so workers stay protected against UV rays.
  5. Indoor Safety:
    • Cool Down Spots: Be sure to have cool down locations inside so employees can escape the heat if they need to.
    • Outdoor Warnings: Make sure indoor workers are staying safe when they go outside by wearing sunglasses, using sunscreen, and having a water bottle.

Other Seasonal Hazards

Extreme heat isn’t the only summer danger that HR should be on top of:

  • Air: Extreme heat tends to cause bad air quality, which can impact respiratory health. Seek to minimize pollution exposure and ensure air purity in indoor spaces.
  • Insects: Mosquitoes and ticks like to carry diseases, and unfortunately they also like summer. Bug bite education and availability of insect repellant could be the difference between a healthy and sick employee.
  • Sun: To protect from skin damage caused by sun exposure, motivate workers to wear protective clothing and sunscreen.

As we contend with record-breaking heat, it’s up to Human Resources to guarantee the health and safety of employees. By utilizing safety practices, raising awareness, and making the right alterations to schedules and work areas, HR can make sure that workers stay well during the most brutally hot time of year.

Employee Safety: A Top Priority This Holiday Season

As we enter the holidays there is a clear sense of anticipation in the air, especially after a difficult period marked by COVID-19 and other challenges. Since this is the first holiday season post-pandemic, many people will be eager to reconnect with coworkers, friends, and family in person. However, human resources professionals face an important responsibility – ensuring that safety remains a major priority during the festivities (without ruining the fun).

Effective Ways to Lower Health and Safety Risks:

  1. Communication: HR must make employees aware of safety guidelines. Encourage open conversations about comfort levels and any concerns individuals may have. Clear communication will promote a stronger commitment to safety.
  2. Flexibility: Offer flexible work arrangements throughout the season, such as remote work or tailored schedules. This will greatly assist team members in balancing professional and personal obligations while minimizing exposure to risks.
  3. Virtual Options: The pandemic being over doesn’t necessarily mean we need to say goodbye to virtual events. Encourage virtual alternatives for office parties and activities that can be engaging and inclusive. This lets employees participate while also prioritizing safety.
  4. In-Person Event Safety: HR should work with event organizers to guarantee compliance to health and safety protocols. Offer optional health resources like hand sanitizers and masks to mitigate illness risk as well as fun alcohol-free beverage options (like holiday-themed mocktails) to ensure workers can stay safe while still being festive.
  5. Wellness: Wellness programs to support employees’ physical and mental health are absolutely vital, especially during the holiday season. Consider providing stress management training and mental health resources while encouraging a healthy work-life balance to keep spirits up.
  6. Reporting: Establish clear protocols to report instances where employees don’t feel well or if they test positive for an illness. This will help the HR team address possible outbreaks and stop diseases from spreading.

Let the Good Times Roll:

While safety is important, it should not come at the expense of having fun. HR can find creative ways to foster a sense of joy and festivity in the workplace while avoiding dangers commonly associated with the holidays. Organize games, contests, or themed events that employees can enjoy safely, with options to participate virtually if possible.

In closing, this holiday season is an important time for HR professionals to promote employee well-being. By addressing possible risks, communicating well, and encouraging a safe environment, HR can feel confident that employees can enjoy the festivities while staying safe and healthy this year.