Heat and Sun Safety for Lawn Care Professionals

 March 21, 2017
Lazer Z Sun Shade

Exmark mower sun-shades block direct sun rays and reduce the impact of direct sunlight.

One of the best ways to increase productivity in your lawn mowing business is to take care of your team and your equipment no matter what the weather.

Lawn maintenance is very much a seasonal business, and you probably count on the summer months as some of your most productive. By protecting your workers (and yourself) from the direct rays of the sun, you can reduce many of the most damaging aspects of direct sunlight.

Seasonal Workers and Sun

Outdoor workers may face an elevated risk of developing skin cancer and related complications. Although using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can help reduce skin damage, it isn’t 100 percent effective. Encourage employees to use a combination of sunscreen, sun protective clothing, and hats to help reduce sun exposure.

Heat-Related Illnesses

More concerning for daily productivity are dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can lead to headaches, cramps and vomiting, and heat stroke needs proper medical attention. Both are most common in the summer months, especially for people who are working in direct sunlight during hours when the sun is highest in the sky, and temperatures are likely to be hottest.

Steps to limit the impact of these heat- and sun-related conditions include encouraging adequate rest and water intake, modifying work schedules, and enhancing workplace conditions. Inform your employees of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and encourage them to stay hydrated while working.

According to OSHA, working in full sunlight can increase the heat index by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In the hottest times of the year, or during prolonged heatwaves, it may be impractical to mow only during cooler parts of the day. However, as a business owner, you don’t want your employees suffering from heat-related illnesses on the job with their resulting downtimes, costs and other concerns. Installing sun-shades on riding mowers can provide relief from the worst impacts of the sun, protecting both your employees and your daily productivity.

Exmark mower sun-shades work in conjunction with the existing Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS). Composed of heavy-duty, water-repellant canvas, they create a canopy above the operator. They block direct sun’s direct rays, reducing the impact of direct sunlight like sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sun-shades are available for Lazer Z, Radius, Quest and Pioneer models. Use our accessory finder to see if one is available for your mower.

Awareness, education and prevention can go a long way in keeping your employees (and yourself) healthy and your business productive. Start planning now for the long hot days of summer. For more information on sun safety, the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA can be a good place to start.