Keeping Greenhouse Workers Safe in the Rising Heat
As temperatures rise, it’s important to monitor greenhouse workers for symptoms of heat stress and take proper precautions to avoid health and safety concerns.
The following are ways to ensure greenhouse workers are safe in the rising heat:
- Ventilate—Equip greenhouses with proper ventilation, including opening roof props and wall panels early in the morning to help mitigate excess heat build-up.
- Shade—Protect both plants and workers from too much heat from the sun with shade cloths. They come in a variety of sizes and materials to offer customized cooling solutions.
- Air movement—Pull fresh air into the greenhouse by placing fans close to openings.
- Monitor the heat—Install thermometers and monitor temperatures closely. Ensure the temperature stays within a safe range for active work. While there is no legal maximum temperature requirement, consider environmental factors, such as humidity and work demand, when making this decision.
- Rotate indoor/outdoor work and shade rest—Keep workers rotating on a regular basis to provide relief from the heat. Ensure that there is a shaded place available for workers to take their breaks.
- Misting—Misting can help cool both the air and body temperatures. Provide misting in work and break areas.
If a health concern does arise, it’s important to provide treatment as quickly as possible. Make sure employees are informed of the symptoms of heat stress and that there is access to ice packs and cold water.
By being prepared for increased temperatures and extreme heat, greenhouse workers can remain safe during the summer.