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Stay Healthy Outdoors

Tips To Stay Healthy When Working Outdoors

Article courtesy of STHIL
With so many safety and equipment procedures to remember, it can be easy to forget basic health habits when working outdoors. Here are a few quick tips to remember to reduce your risk of personal injury while on the job.

  • Drink water frequently and in small amounts (about 1 pint per hour) rather than large amounts at one time.
  • Don't depend on feeling thirsty to remind you - by the time you feel thirsty, you are already low on fluids.
  • Typical water consumption for the average person working outdoors is 2-3 quarts a day.
  • During the summer or winter months, drink 3-4 quarts a day.
  • Add 1 quart if you are working in high altitudes over 8,000 feet.

Reducing Sun Exposure

  • Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Over time, UV exposure can cause permanent skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Wear tightly woven clothing that blocks out sunlight.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to help protect the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
  • Ensure that your protective eyewear blocks out at least 99% of UV rays.
  • Sunlight is most intense between 10am and 4pm - your prime working hours - so take time to ensure you are protected!

Protecting Yourself From Heat

  • Working in the heat is especially demanding on the body. Be aware of your heat exposure.
  • When taking water breaks, do so in a shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Work in pairs.
  • Try to avoid excessive lifting, climbing or digging during peak heat hours. Use additional power equipment as necessary to assist with labor-intensive tasks.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion: pale and clammy skin, increased pulse and breathing, dizziness and nausea, decreased urine output.
  • Drink small to moderate amounts of water or an electrolyte replacing fluid, such as Gatorade® and Powerade®.

Protecting Yourself From Cold

  • When working in cold climates where temperatures drop below freezing, it is important to reduce skin exposure.
  • Work in pairs.
  • Watch for frostbite, which occurs when skin becomes hard and numb from the cold. Frostbite typically affects fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears and the nose.
  • Hypothermia occurs if your body temperature falls below 95°F. If you feel fatigue or drowsiness, uncontrolled shivering, or notice cool or blue-colored skin, move immediately to a warm, dry area and call 911 for emergency help.
  • Stay as dry as possible. Body heat is lost up to 25 times faster in water.
  • When taking breaks, do so in a warm, dry area.
  • Perform work during the warmest part of the day.

Reducing Risk of Lifting Injury

  • Use lifting aids (dollies, wheelbarrows, hand trucks, etc.) as much as possible.
  • Do NOT try to lift a load of 50 pounds or more on your own - ask for help.
  • Perform stretching exercises before lifting to help loosen your muscles.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of lifting. Be sure to take breaks or alternate between lifting and non-lifting tasks.
  • Slide heavy loads when possible.
  • Make sure you are wearing sturdy boots or shoes with nonslip soles.
  • When lifting, get a firm footing, part your feet and put one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Keep the load close to your body and no higher than the chest.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible, then bend your knees and lift with your legs.
  • Get a good grip and use handles when possible.
  • Don't toss objects that weigh more than 5 pounds.
  • Lift in a smooth, controlled manner. Don't jerk the load or twist your body.

Avoiding Slips and Trips

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Muddy and uneven terrain increases the risk of slipping and tripping.
  • Look for holes in the ground, as well as bumps from partially buried rocks or branches.
  • Be aware when working in moist conditions (light drizzle, early-morning dew, etc.).
  • Avoid working in poorly lit conditions.
  • Keep all walkways clear and put tools, equipment, materials and cords back where they belong.
  • Wear boots or waterproof shoes/boots that have good traction.
  • Avoid running on the job.
  • Pay close attention when working with liquids and immediately clean up any spills.

Staying Protected with STIHL Protective Apparel

Help to stay protected while on the job with our selection of protective apparel and accessories. Our Nylon Protective Pants are cut-retardant and hold up under tough working conditions. We also have a wide range of work gloves, helmet systems, eye protection and more!

Shop Now with D&G Equipment at STIHL

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