For many workers, a career in construction can be an energizing experience that requires creative problem-solving and teamwork on a day-to-day basis. However, given the physical nature of construction work and varying project schedules, workers can also be prone to low energy levels and sometimes extreme fatigue. Not to mention, as one of the hottest months in New York City, August’s long, sweltering days can contribute to an overall feeling of sluggishness and exhaustion. To combat this, workers should maintain a proactive awareness to identify potential signs of fatigue before it presents a larger safety risk to yourself or others.
Pay Close Attention to the Signs
Particularly during the summer months, symptoms of fatigue can easily be mistaken as side-effects of hot and humid conditions. Try to maintain consistent self-awareness around how your body feels and look for early indicators that something could be off. Preemptive signs of fatigue include fidgeting, rubbing your eyes, frequently blinking, dizziness, and headaches. Additionally, you may feel slightly more irritable or have difficulty making clear decisions. If these symptoms persist after cooling off and taking a break in the shade, it could point to more serious exhaustion.
Water, Rest, Shade
As mentioned, extreme weather conditions – especially heat – only bolsters lethargy in workers. Combining existing exhaustion with challenging environmental circumstances poses a serious risk. OSHA’s heat safety campaign stresses three key areas: water, rest, and shade. Consistent water intake, regular breaks, and avoiding direct sunlight will lessen your chances of dehydration, fatigue, or other heat-related illnesses. If you want additional tips, check out Building Skills’ previous blog post on how to stay cool in hot weather.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
A cup of coffee or a quick nap might provide you temporary energy, but if you are experiencing extreme tiredness the only tried and true fix is sleep. The CDC estimates that one in three American adults fail to get adequate sleep each night. With many construction sites having early start times, it’s crucial to go to bed at a time that allows you at least seven hours of rest. When you get enough sleep, your body repairs damaged tissues and muscles in addition to restoring its energy levels – all highly important considerations for construction workers.