How to Stay Cool Working Construction (8 Tips for 2022)

Two construction workers wearing light-colored clothes and hats to keep off the sun and stay cool while working outside in the summer

The summer’s high temperatures intensify an already difficult job and can lead to accidents and illnesses. Whether you’re a fence project manager or you own a roofing business, the below tips will keep everyone on the construction site safe and cool. Not to mention that they can make your days of working in the summer sun more bearable.

Check out these top eight tips.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re working outside in the heat, it’s easy to get dehydrated. You should be drinking regularly, about every 15–20 minutes. Chilled water is the best drink for cooling down and staying hydrated, but coconut water is a close second. Coconut water is low in calories and has electrolytes to help your body regulate fluids.

Gatorade, Powerade, and Propel are also a good choice. They’re loaded with electrolytes, but be cautious about the added sugars.

Hydration packets like DripDrop and Liquid I.V. are another great way to avoid heat exhaustion while working outside. These products help your body absorb water and electrolytes faster.

One last piece of drink advice: avoid caffeinated drinks since too much caffeine can lead to dehydration.

Drip drops
Liquid I.V.

Stay in the Shade

Direct, hot sunlight will take the energy out of you. While you can’t control how sunny it is, you can take cover in the shade. Take breaks in the shade and avoid being in the sun when possible. If there isn’t any natural shade at the site, try putting up a pop-up canopy or umbrella.

Take Breaks

Summer heat takes a toll on everyone, especially if you’re working in the sun all day. Even if you take regular breaks, you might need an extra one or two during the workday. It’s not a sign of weakness to need a rest. Remember, it’s far better to step away for a minute than to force yourself to work through heat exhaustion.

Wear the Right Clothes

What should you wear when working outside in the heat? A tight shirt can not only restrict you while working, but it can also force your body to retain heat. While you’re working, be sure to wear clothing that is:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Loose
  • Light-colored
  • Moisture-wicking
  • UPF/UV

It’s always a good idea to wear a hat and long-sleeved shirt. If you don’t want to wear long sleeves, arm sleeves can also provide sun protection. And for those who easily get hot, cooling clothing for extreme heat, like a cooling vest, can make a huge difference. These vests absorb cool water and keep your body temperature down.

UV protection shirt
UV protection compression sleeves
Cooling vest

Use a Fan or Mister

Depending on the construction work you’re doing, you might be able to carry around a mini fan or mister. If the job site permits, put up a large fan or overhead mister to help several people cool down. You might also try some cooling gear for construction workers.

Some popular things to keep you cool while working in the heat include wearing a damp towel, washcloth, or bandana around your neck.

Neck fan
Cooling towels
Cooling bandanas

Eat a Light Lunch

The more you eat, the more energy your body puts into breaking down your meal, which creates heat. Keep yourself cool by eating a lunch light in protein and carbs. You’ll also benefit from snacking and eating a smaller lunch instead of having a big meal.

Certain foods will also help you stay cool in the heat. Try adding some of these foods to your day to keep your body temperature from getting too hot.

  • Lime
  • Mint
  • Spinach
  • Mango
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini

Start Working Earlier in the Day

How do construction workers stay cool in summer? The biggest trick is to start and end work earlier in the day. Even if you have to keep the same hours, you can always do the heavy, heat-intensive work in the morning instead of the afternoon.

Trim Your Hair

If you’re searching for how to stay cool in the heat at work, it’s worth looking at your locks. Long hair can trap heat close to your skin. If you keep your hair down at the job site, consider getting a haircut or putting your hair up.

Stay Cool & Stay Safe

You don’t have to suffer through a heat wave while you work this summer. No matter how hot it is outside, you can follow these tips to stay cool all summer long.

How are you and your construction crews beating the heat? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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