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June 29, 2015

4 Tips For Staying Safe When Working Outside

Construction workers
There are many benefits to working outside. Instead of being tied down to a desk job, you get to stay active throughout the day and breathe fresh air instead of the stale office air conditioning. But outdoor jobs also have inherent risks, like overheating, sun exposure, back issues and more. To stay as safe as possible when doing your outdoor job, consider the following four tips:

Protect your skin

To keep your skin safe from the damaging rays of the sun, wear sunscreen every day—even during the fall and winter. Choose a brand that has an SPF of 30 and is “broad-spectrum,” which means it will protect you against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you start work and reapply it every two hours or so. Also, while you might be tempted to wear short-sleeved t-shirts and shorts during the summer, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat; this will further protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.

Protect your eyes

Heat Index, head disorders
Your eyes can also be damaged by the sun’s rays, so protect your eyes by always wearing sunglasses while you are working outside. Since all sunglasses are not created equally, don’t rely on the cheap shades from the local drugstore to keep your eyes safe; invest in high quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and always keep a spare pair of lenses in your car in case of an emergency. When buying spare lenses, looking for ones designed for your specific frames and usage. For instance, Revant Optics sells tinted lenses made to fit a variety of the top brands, like Oakley, Ray Ban and Maui Jim that help reduce glare from the sun and while offering full UV protection. Wear your sunglasses even on cloudy days and if you are worried about them falling off as you work, use sunglass retainers.

Watch your stress level

Bike PathEven though it can be very pleasant to work outdoors, your job may be quite stressful at times. If you find yourself feeling anxious, tired, or you have problems sleeping, work stress may be the culprit. Luckily, taking good care of yourself can help to reduce job stress. For example, seemingly simple things like getting regular exercise and eating right can make a world of difference; even though you are probably tired after working outside all day, set aside time for regular exercise like a 30-minute brisk walk, riding a bike or swimming. Instead of heading out for fast food with your work buddies, pack your lunch a few days a week and focus on plenty of protein, whole grains and fruits and veggies. Try to get eight hours of sleep a night and if you can, take regular breaks throughout your work day.

Talking about what is bothering you can also really help relieve work-related stress. Share what’s going on with your spouse or trusted friend; the other person doesn’t need to fix the issue, he or she just needs to listen so you can vent.

Prepare for bugs and insects

First aid kit insideBeing outdoors all day means sharing spaces with bugs and insects, some of which can sting and bite. To prevent being bitten, apply an insect repellent prior to going to areas where bugs tend to be. Also, choose light-colored clothing with smooth finishes and avoid bright colors that attract insects. Since perfumes, hair products and aftershaves can attract creepy crawlers, avoid wearing anything scented. If you find yourself face to face with a bee or other stinging insect, resist the urge to swat at the air and instead calmly walk away. If you are stung, scrape at the stinger with a credit card or other hard object and keep a first aid kit in your truck at all times with Benadryl, anti-itch cream and insect repellent.


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