iphone headers for app

New tool available to prepare for working in hot weather

A new, easy-to-use mobile app is now available to increase awareness about the dangers of working in the heat during the summer months. 

The Heat Safety Tool (download here) allows you to calculate the heat index for your worksite. Based on the heat index, the app displays a risk level. Sign up to get warnings and suggestions for protective measures such as drinking plenty of fluids and scheduling rest breaks. 

It’s important to plan ahead for your shift by checking the forecasted weather and heat index, then dressing accordingly and hydrating prior to arriving at the job site.

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep that in mind. 

Water is the best way to hydrate. Energy drinks should be avoided because they can increase the risk of dehydration and contribute to heat exhaustion. Drinks such as Gatorade contain a lot of sugar and it’s best to mix them with water. 

The Heat Safety Tool also provides training on the symptoms of heat illness. It offers tips for how to recognize when a co-worker may be in distress. It’s important for all of us to understand the signs so we can keep each other safe.  

Use this information when outdoors with friends and family as well, so we can all stay safe when off the job. 

The Heat Safety Tool app was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  


Protocols for Heavy Haul loads

Delivering Heavy Haul loads safely requires planning and preparation. It starts with our journey management plan.  

Prior to departure, the team maps and scouts the route. We identify hazards to be aware of, such as low-hanging trees and wires; curves; construction zones; and weight limits. We share photos and videos of the challenging parts of the route, so drivers know what to anticipate. 

Drivers must make sure their vehicles are safe and ready. That includes checking chains, binders, and winch cables, plus tires, lights, and other equipment. They must identify where they can make their required stops to comply with DOT hours of service regulations and manage any daytime-only travel requirements. 

Weather forecasts must be consulted, and communications established with any accompanying pilot or pole vehicles.  

All of these pre-trip preparations are crucial to ensuring long hauls are done safely, for our team members, our clients, and the public. 


Dangers of Driving on the Job

There are a lot of dangers on a construction site, so it may be easy to overlook the dangers of driving on the job.  


Before getting into a company vehicle, employees are required to conduct a pre-use inspection. That means doing a 360-degree walkaround of the vehicle. Look for damage to tires, cracks in windshields, leaking fluids and other evidence that the vehicle is not in safe operating condition.  

Test turn signals, headlights and brake lights. Make sure there are no objects in your path, in front of or behind the vehicle. 

If you are hauling equipment, even for just a short distance, make sure it is properly secured. Company policy is to use two tie-downs. If your vehicle is not equipped with tie-downs, request them. 

Once you are ready to roll, buckle up. Even on short trips. You never know what could happen. We drive on tricky terrain in less-than-ideal conditions. Mud, snow and ice can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. 

If you are on a long-distance trip, be aware of fatigue. If you feel tired, pull over. 


Protect yourself when working around equipment

When working around excavators and other heavy equipment, it’s important to keep your distance. 

A safety zone of 30 feet in all directions always should be in place. 

Booms and other machinery can swing in any direction at any time and do so quickly. Remember, large equipment can move faster than you may think.  

Safety vests and reflective bands on helmets provide an extra layer of safety. That said, never assume an equipment operator can see you as sun glare and blind spots can always occur. 

Mirrors and backup cameras do reduce the potential for accidents, but equipment operators cannot rely on them exclusively. When in doubt, stop and look. 

In working conditions where a 30-foot safety zone is not permitted, workers must make and maintain visual contact with equipment operators and communicate with them. If you will be working behind equipment, make sure the operator knows and, always have an escape route planned. 


Cold weather is coming. Be prepared.

As the seasons change, we must change our routines to stay safe.  

Fall brings wide temperature variations. Mornings are cool, but afternoons still can be warm, especially when laboring. Prepare for that by dressing in layers.  

Check the forecast before leaving for the job site so you will know what to expect. Make sure your clothing is fit for duty. If your gloves and boots get wet, dry them overnight so they are ready for the next day and always have rain gear on hand. 

When winter arrives, be ready for it. Have extra clothing ready in case temperatures drop during the day. With darkness arriving earlier, temperatures can change dramatically in a short time. 

Keep hand warmers with your gear for when they are needed. Use a vehicle to warm up when necessary.  

Stay hydrated! Even on cold or cloudy days, our bodies perspire. We need to replenish.  

Be extra cautious on the roads. Deer are moving and more driving occurs during darkness. Make sure your vehicle – both personal and company – has working lights and adequate antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. 

When cleaning your windshield, make sure the inside is clean, too, to ensure good visibility. 

Watch for black ice and anticipate bridges will freeze before road surfaces.