When the Heat Hurts
This is an exciting time in our industry, as many of our dealerships are growing, expanding, upgrading and renovating.
It is also an exciting time for us as individuals as we use summer to refresh the paint job on cars, or get the "cosmetic" damage from winter fixed. Additionally, let's not forget about those sunny days where our sales team and lot personnel actually WANT to be out roaming the lot.
All of this serves as a reminder that the heat and sun might not always be our friend.
As employers, we have multiple responsibilities when it comes to keeping staff safe in the heat. We have developed some great safety processes for our team indoors- including those in potentially hot environments, such as paint booth, hot work and related tasks. However,have we thought about those activities that aren't always part of day to day indoor tasks?
We also need to think about those people who may be working onsite, but are not dealership employees. This is especially true right now, when we often have construction crews and similar workers in the area. Customers may also suffer from heat related challenges. Standing on a black top and hopping in and out of vehicles that have been sitting in the sun can take a toll on anyone.
Here are some things to consider about keeping staff ( and other individuals onsite) safe when the heat is high enough to hurt:
Ensure that you are following the heat related guidelines in your area by giving staff appropriate extra breaks throughout the day if they are workign in a hot environment.
Be sure that all workers on your site have access to potable water.
Review out dated policies that reference wearing of "accessories" in order to permit apporpriate use of sunglasses, headwear and cooling scarfs if needed.
Consider keeping sunscreen in a common location for use by sales staff, lot attendants and similar roles that may find themselves standing out in the sun throughout the day.
Be cognizant of your staff behaviour and physical cues. Look for changes such as being off balance, appearing flush or unusuallly sweaty, appearing foggy or lightheaded, complaints of black spots and other signs of heat exhaustion, heat stroke or dehydration.
Listen-when staff complain of heat, consider "spelling them off", focussing on other aspects of their job or even possibly sending them home or to seek medical care. This is especially important when they have been working in the heat for an extended period.
As we round out the "construction season" and look forward to grand openings and celebrations, we need to be aware of the toll that this may take on those that are in the thick of it. This will help ensure that we all celebrate without the cloud of injury looming over what would otherwise be a dealership high note.
If you would like to know more about how we can assist our subscribers with meeting or exceeding local guidelines, safety regulations and hot weather planning, please email us at email@example.com.