How to Keep Warehouse Employees Safe In The Heat of Summer

As much as people complain about the cold, damp, snowy, icy mess of the long, dark winter months, there are just as many who dread the hot, swampy, steamy, humid slog of summer. 

For people who work in warehouses, those long hot days can make it feel like they’re working in a convection oven, with heat radiating off machinery, cement floors, and coming in from doors propped open for ventilation. 

It is possible to help keep your employees safe during the hotter summer months; it just takes a little effort and thinking ahead. 

Here are some options to consider: 

Screen doors

If you can swap out solid metal doors for screens or even add some screened windows to your warehouse, it can do wonders for air circulation and temperature control. It also keeps the bugs out — no one wants to get bitten by a mosquito while operating heavy machinery. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Make sure there’s plenty of cold and cool water available at all times. Whether that’s a well-stocked refrigerator, a well-stocked water cooler, or functional fountains, remind your employees on a regular basis to take water breaks and to keep themselves hydrated. They’ll be sweating more as the temperature goes up, and their body needs water to function properly. Overheating from lack of drinking water can cause headaches, dehydration, and other health issues, not to mention the risk of passing out. Speaking of which…

Inform your employees of heat-related illnesses

Before the mercury really starts to rise, call together a quick meeting to discuss the symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration. Make sure everyone is aware of the warning signs, including muscle cramps, headaches, heavy sweating, fatigue, dizziness, loss of coordination, nausea/vomiting, feeling weak, rapid heartbeat, irritability, and dry skin. Let them know the best way to address these symptoms, including where they can find shade, where cold compresses are kept, etc., anything that can help them regulate body temperatures before they get hurt. 

Encourage breaks and, if possible, flexible schedules

When the dog days of summer hit, work with your employees to make sure they’re not overexerting themselves too much during the hottest parts of the day. Institute a policy of taking a short break every hour to cool off, get some water, and maybe a snack to keep up their strength. If possible, implement a more flexible schedule option, allowing people to come in earlier or work later to get some relief from the heat before the sun comes up or after it sets. 

Consider dehumidifiers

Depending on the size of your warehouse and what materials are stored there, dehumidifiers could be a very smart investment. They pull excess moisture out of the air, reducing the sticky and swampy sweltering feel on the muggiest of days. Combined with any extra fans or air conditioning available in your warehouse, this environmental control tool could really make a big difference. 

It’s also important to make it clear that employees will not be penalized or gossiped about if they need to take extra breaks or need more water than their coworkers. No one should feel pressured to “tough it out” during the summer — that could lead to dangerous conditions and no one wants that. 

Contact Our Recruiters Today

If you’re looking for other advice on how to keep your workers cooler this summer, or if you’re looking to add to your team, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have excellent candidates looking for permanent and temporary positions, and they’re ready to join your team right away. Call Debbie’s Staffing now, and let’s get to work!