Working outdoors in the summer heat can be unbearable, especially if you're not prepared. The Australian sun can be brutal, and it's easy to become dehydrated or suffer from heat stroke if you're not careful.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to survive working outdoors in the Australian summer.
- Drink plenty of water
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to make sure you're drinking enough water when you're working outdoors in the heat. It's easy to become dehydrated without realizing it, so make sure to drink water regularly throughout the day. If you start to feel thirsty, that's a sign that you're already dehydrated, so make sure to drink up!
- Take breaks in the shade
If possible, take breaks in the shade or indoors where it's cooler. This will help your body temperature regulate and prevent you from becoming overheated.
- Wear loose, light clothing
Wear loose, light clothing that is breathable to help keep your body temperature down. Avoid dark colours as they will absorb heat, and stick to natural fabrics like cotton which are better at wicking away sweat.
- Use sunscreen
Make sure to apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for optimal protection.
- Wear a hat
Wearing a hat will help keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes. A wide-brimmed hat is best as it will provide more coverage.
- Stay hydrated
As we mentioned before, it's important to stay hydrated when working in the heat. Drink water regularly throughout the day, even if you're not thirsty. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous, that's a sign that you're dehydrated and need to drink more water.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can make dehydration worse, so it's best to avoid them when working in the heat. If you must have caffeine, drink it in moderation and make sure to drink plenty of water as well.
- Eat small meals more often
Eating smaller meals more often will help your body digest food more efficiently and prevent you from feeling sluggish in the heat. Heavy meals can actually make dehydration worse, so stick to lighter fare like fruits and vegetables.
- Check for signs of heat stroke
If you start to experience symptoms of heat stroke like a headache, nausea, confusion, or dizziness, it's important to seek medical help immediately. Heat stroke is a serious condition and can be deadly if not treated promptly.
- Take it easy
If you're not used to working in the heat, take it easy at first and gradually build up your endurance. Start with shorter shifts and work your way up to longer ones as you become more acclimated to the heat. And remember to listen to your body - if you start to feel sick or exhausted, take a break and cool down.
Working outdoors in the summer doesn't have to be miserable if you follow these tips. Stay safe and cool, and you'll be able to get through the day without any problems.
Time for a career change? If you're sick of working in the heat, you can use your skills and experience to gain certification RPL in a range of areas, including project management - where you're off the tools and in an air-conditioned office. Take our 60 seconds skills test to find out if you're eligible.