7 Tips for Keeping Your Team Safe in Extreme Summer Heat

by

Lauren Ruppel
Account Executive
July 19, 2019
/
2
minutes to read


Get to the Point: 

  1. Safety Is More Important Than Ever During the Summer Months — Make sure you know the safety risks for your team, and how to mitigate them.
  2. Look Closely at Scheduling — If possible, try to schedule jobs before and after mid-day.
  3. Encourage Your Employees to Monitor Themselves, and Each Other — Let your team know that they are expected to watch out for each other.
     

It’s hot. REALLY hot. And as the owner of a home service business, you know exactly what that means: a lot of safety risks for your team. That’s right — another thing you have to worry about. 

With temperatures well into the 100s throughout the country, residential contractors are working longer hours to help their customers. Although this busy season can rank among the most profitable for companies, it is also a time in which safety is even more important. This is true no matter one’s age, but especially for older employees. 

High temperatures and humidity levels can bring about a number of heat-related injuries and illnesses. Before sending your team out into a potentially harmful situation, check out these tips designed to keep your employees safe — and your business on track. 

Have Plenty of Fluids Ready to Go

Your team has to stay hydrated while in the field. It’s not a bad idea to keep a fridge stocked with water and sports drinks, and to make grabbing some drinks part of their morning routine.

Remind Employees to Take Time to Cool Down

Encourage light, breathable clothing. Clothes that are black, waterproof and too heavy could turn out to be hazardous. 

Look Closely at Scheduling

If possible, try to schedule jobs before and after mid-day. Remember, the hottest time of day is noon to 3 p.m. It’s not always possible to avoid those peak times, but if you can, your team will thank you! 

Provide a Bucket of Ice Water and Some Towels 

In addition to having water and sports drinks ready in the morning, have employees bring a bucket of ice water and towels. This can help keep their body temperatures down, and can also be used in the event of heatstroke. 

Encourage Your Employees to Monitor Themselves

Remind your team that you know your body best. If something doesn't feel right, be aware and take it easy. Have any employees who use a smartwatch? Tell them to keep an eye on their heart rate. If it isn't where it normally is, then something probably isn't right.

Also Encourage Your Employees to Keep an Eye on Each Other 

Let your team know that they are expected to watch out for each other. If they notice another member of the team acting strange or out of character, call for a water break. They may spot a heat-related illness or injury before their fellow employee is even aware it’s happening. This situation could mean calling 911, or at least taking a break. 

Managing a team is difficult at the best of times — it’s even harder during the summer months. Pointman Success Coaches work with our members to ensure the proper processes are in place to keep the entire team on track, and to help your business grow. Check out our Success Coaches page for more info on how these experienced industry experts can work with you to make your team stronger.

Behavior between jobs is another matter. It’s not uncommon for a tech to stop and grab food on the way to a job, or maybe get gas. However, business owners need to keep a close eye on how long these stops stretch. Are we talking five minutes, or 30? If you spot your truck idling at a gas station for half an hour, you’re losing money.

If you spot your truck idling at a gas station for half an hour, you’re losing money.

There is a greater issue here, as well. You set expectations with customers that a tech is going to arrive at a certain time. A tech who spends too long eating or pumping gas may also be arriving late to jobs. We all know the importance of customer expectations — as well as the importance of customer reviews …

So make clear to your techs that you are watching. Just as you set expectations with customers, you also must set expectations with your employees. When you’re using a field service management software like Pointman with advanced timecard management and time-tracking capabilities, it’s easy — every employee gets into the routine of setting their status (dispatched, starting a job, meal break, etc.) whenever it changes throughout the day. As long as you enforce using it consistently, your techs will know they’re always accountable for their activities and whereabouts.

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