Tatum: It's Going To Be a Hot One

June 3, 2024
Tips and tricks to keep your team cool this summer.

As we round the corner out of spring and into summer—the busy season for the repair industry—we need to make sure that we keep the people generating these sales safe and sound. In this article, we will discuss some safety tips for the hot weather months and things that you can do to keep your teams going in the heat. 

Each day, workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes.  

Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Your managers need to be trained to look for these symptoms to keep your teams going each day. We can reduce these opportunities by putting in place a few steps to plan for success. 

First and foremost, stay hydrated. Make sure that you allow your teams to bring water bottles in to fill up or have water stations set up for them to grab a drink while moving between services. If you want to take an extra step forward and purchase a five-gallon cooler and some Gatorade mix packs.  

You know what they are, just like you see on the sidelines of the football game your kid is playing in. They add a packet, a bag of ice, and water each day. These can last up to two days if stored properly. However, once they realize you are making this, they will drink it in a day. These packets can be found at a local sports store or off Amazon where I buy cases for each of my locations. 

Second, increase the air flow to your building. If you tend to keep your doors down during the day, put them up instead and allow the natural airflow to dissipate hot air building up. Add in some fans that you can hang at angles from the corners of the bay to blow across your workstation.  

These are cheap and available off Amazon or at your local Walmart or Target. If you have an open pit, think about investing in a large industrial fan like Uline has to keep all that trapped heat out of there. You have multiple products and can have a flash point, so being cooler is better. 

Finally, think of some things that you can control for employees. We incorporate Dri-FIT uniform tops into our options for purchase. These wick away the sweat and heat, keeping you cooler throughout the day. If your uniform company has an option for shorts, try them out. Most of the time we are wearing darker colors like black and dark grey, which absorb the heat of the sun, so having the lower half of the legs gone allows for better heat dissipation.  

Another thing that you can do is set up a system of short breaks for each person each hour. Now, I am not talking about 15-to-30-minute breaks, but a rotation of five minutes or so for each person to step away and grab a drink, sit down, and then get back to it. 

Taking these extra steps will help you stay safe this summer. If you happen to have someone encounter a medical emergency, call 911. While waiting for the medical professionals, move the team member to a shaded area and try and cool them off.  

Use wet towels on the skin and put cold water on their clothes to help reduce their temperatures. An ounce of prevention is all it takes. So, look at your locations and what you can do to help your teams. It is going to be a hot one this summer, so let us all beat the heat. 

About the Author

Adam Tatum

Adam Tatum is the Director of Operations for Virginia Lubes, a Jiffy Lube franchisee with 11 locations. He has over a decade of experience in the industry with a proven track record of building customer counts and sales, as well as using innovative ways to bring a new look to the automotive field for both the customer and the employee.  Performance comes from growing your business through people.