Summer Hazards

By: Steve Ham, Lofton Safety Services

Aug 3, 2021

Summer is upon us and so are the dangers that come with the outdoors.  Know what to do if you encounter one of the following common summertime hazards:



Heatstroke happens when the body temperature rises to 104 F or higher.  Symptoms include: altered mental state, nausea or vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart beat or headaches. Take action immediately! Cool the person with whatever means available - a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the head, neck, armpits and groin.


Jellyfish stings or sunburns

If you find yourself stung by a jellyfish, apply vinegar to the area and seek medical attention for severe reactions.  Sunburns can be easily avoided by applying and reapplying SPF 30 or more.  Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol and have a shade source available when you have prolonged exposure to heat and sun. 


Poison ivy and oak

Be sure to learn what poison ivy and poison oak look like. It’s easy to identify by its clusters of three pointed leaves. In the summer, the leaves turn green and then to various shades of red, yellow, or orange in the fall. The rash isn’t contagious, but the oil produced by poison ivy – called Urushiol – can spread to others. And it’s in virtually every part of the plant: leaves, stems, even the roots. It can transfer to and from your hands to your cell phone or any object you touch. Avoiding them is best, but if exposed, you should clean the area thoroughly with over-the-counter products for poison plants, or soap and water.



They are hard to avoid, but by applying repellant, wearing full-cover light clothing and using fans around your activity, you will reduce bites. Avoid being outside when they are most active at dawn and dusk.  


Bee stings

Most bee and wasp stings are mild, but some have serious allergic reactions requiring medical care.  A bee’s stinger will remain and continue to inject venom so it should be removed with caution by scrapping it off with a credit card or driver’s license.  Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. However, if the swelling moves to other parts of your body, such as your face or neck, go to the emergency room immediately, as you might be having an allergic reaction.


Snake bites

Snake bites become more common this time of year, and with heavy rains, they may migrate to more populated areas. There are two different types of snake bites: dry bites, which occur when a snake doesn’t release any venom with its bite; and venomous bites, which is when a snake transmits venom during a bite. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect envenomation by a poisonous snake like the cottonmouth/water moccasin, copperhead or rattlesnake. 


Spider bites

Bites from black widow or brown recluse spiders should be evaluated immediately by a healthcare professional.  A bite from a less intense species (wolf spider or jumping spider), will likely cause a red bump that may be a little sore. Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling.


How can Lofton Safety help?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you have questions regarding safety issues or training, contact Lofton Safety Services at 337-330-2642 or For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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