The nature of work has changed significantly even in the last two decades. The old divide of blue-collar and white-collar is losing its relevance in a world where WiFi has office workers working outdoors, while blue-collar jobs require computer skills to program a robot workforce.
Regardless of the type of work you do outdoors, whether you’re working construction, an oil rig, a fishing boat or punching data into a laptop on site, you need protection for your eyes, ears, hands, feet and skin, because it’s a tough work full of things that bite, burn crush and blister. Here are five tips to keep you safe and healthy while you do it:
1. Work Boots
If you’re fond of your toes, show your boots some love. Tough, durable good boots give all-day support. Look for tough leather uppers with shock-absorbing midsoles. A simple rule of thumb is to choose the best and comfortable work boots you can get your feet into. Don’t neglect to throw on a good pair of work socks. These tough beasts are designed for extra a cushioning and improved durability. If you want to select the best working boots – I recommend you to go through this article.
2. Gloves, Hats, Sunglasses and Safety Glasses
Calluses may be macho but keeping your digits intact is a smart move. Good work gloves are crafted from natural leather, or sewn from heavy-duty cotton. While hard hats are mandatory on most work sites, a work hat keeps the sun off your face and skin cancer at bay. In winter go for a beanie or winter cap to avoid heat loss.
Protecting your eyes from harsh UV rays is also important. If ANSI-certified eye protection is required for your job, brands such as Oakley and Gargoyles offer sunglasses that comply with ANSI ratings. Polarized lenses are ideal if you’ll be working around snow, water, asphalt or other reflective surfaces where glare can be dazzling and hence dangerous. Look for wrap-around frames that give your face extra protection from debris and peripheral sunlight.
3. Sun Protection
While the sun is a great source of Vitamin D, long-term exposure from working outdoors causes skin damage. Every instance of sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer. Tragically, 90 percent of skin cancers are found on areas of the body not usually protected by clothing; your face, ears, hands, and forearms.
When working outdoors, slap on a minimum SPF of 30 sunscreens. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 indicates the product will stop 95-97 percent of UVB rays and allow 30 times longer exposure in the sun before burning begins. Make sure you select a brand that combines UVA protection with UVB protection. Look for a 4-star UVA rating and the UVA logo on your sunscreen.
4. Stay Hydrated
When working outdoors in hot weather, be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of liquids. Try to avoid sugary drinks and alcohol as they both cause you to lose body fluid. Look for signs of heat-related illness, including headaches, dizziness, rapid pulse, nausea or confusion.
5. Stay Safe
They may not be fashion statements but high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) is a range of clothing including vests, bibs, coats, and coveralls that workers wear to improve how well other people “see” them, particularly drivers and vehicle operators. And don’t forget your ear and eye protectors to go with your high vis gear.
Outwork work environments demand some simple, smart steps to keep you safe and healthy. From basic equipment and clothing, through to sunscreen and staying hydrated, these simple precautions will look after you if you remember to include them in your workplace routine.