Archive for June, 2023

Tips for Working in Hot Weather

As we know it is starting to get hot and humid. As we enter the summer months, let’s take the time and do our due diligence. It is important to be aware of the risks of heat-related illnesses and take timely precautions to prevent them.

Common Symptoms

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, can be serious and even deadly if left untreated. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headache, and heavy sweating. Heat stroke, which is a medical emergency, can cause confusion, seizures, rapid heartbeat, and a high body temperature. When working in hot weather, safety is of the utmost importance to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses. Proper hydration is essential, as it helps cool the body from the inside and prevents dehydration.

Whether walking to your car or performing a strenuous task at the jobsite, your body is always working to maintain a balance and sustain its core temperature. Our bodies are constantly exposed to elements that increase body heat and deplete hydration levels. Therefore, we must be extra careful when working in extreme conditions. Not only do extreme temperatures take a toll on the body, but they also make workers more susceptible to becoming dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea, dizziness or confusion
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Hot, dry skin

Tips for Prevention

To prevent heat-related illnesses, it’s important to take a few simple steps to stay cool and hydrated:

  1. Dress for the weather. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that allows air to circulate.
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol, which can dehydrate you. Hydrate the night before working in the heat.

*As a general guideline, the recommended amount of water intake is one quart per hour of active work or exercise for the average adult. That is the equivalent of 128 ounces every four hours at minimum. It is also suggested that the water intake be distributed over a period, such as every 15 minutes per shift.

  1. Take breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned space. If possible, schedule work during the cooler parts of the day or shift work to a cooler location.
  2. Use fans and cool towels to stay cool. Wet a towel with cool water and place it on your neck or forehead.
  3. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and seek medical attention if you or a coworker show symptoms.

Actions for Cure

What to do if an employee gets overheated:

  • Move them to a cool, shaded area
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
  • Provide cool water to drink. Not Ice cold as this could do harm to the employee
  • Fan and mist the person with water
  • Call safety and your manager

Working in hot weather can be challenging, but with proper precautions and awareness, you can stay safe and healthy on the job. Remember to take breaks, stay hydrated, and dress for the weather. By working together, we can prevent heat-related illnesses and ensure a productive and safe work environment.

Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay safe!

Benefits of Site Master Planning for Parks

DLZ regularly partners with clients to create master plans for parks and recreation facilities. A great site master plan can help you identify program needs, conduct spatial planning, and receive public input. It also assists in setting realistic budgets and develop long-term phasing when needed. Site master plans and the resulting documentation can be utilized to boost your success in fundraising and grant applications for park improvements. Having a clear vision and mission is critical when approaching public officials and potential donors.

Insight into Site Master Plans

Often there is confusion about what a site master plan entails. In a nutshell, a site master plan is a high-level plan for overall, often long term, development of a specific site. It usually includes site analysis and identification of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). It reflects conceptual needs and desires for the site, including but not limited to types and sizes of buildings, site amenities such as sports fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds, and natural areas to be protected. A site master plan also takes into account the pedestrian and vehicular circulation, and appropriate orientations and adjacencies between all the onsite elements. It provides a structured approach, clear framework and planning level cost for developing the site.

A site master plan is NOT planning of more than one site or addressing parks’ system planning (5-Year Parks Master Plan) nor is it detailed development of a site plan suitable for construction and/or bidding (Design Development/Construction Documents).

Stages of Site Master Planning

Our process typically includes 4 general stages: Project Kickoff, Inventory and Programming, Preliminary Master Plan and Final Master Plan. The inventory and analysis allows us to identify major constraints or conflicts upfront and gain a thorough understanding of project site. Through programming discussions with our clients and during public input sessions, we gain consensus on needed improvements, help to prioritize ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs’, brainstorm and vet many different ideas, and identify potential partnerships and funding sources early. We take this information gained and use it as the basis for the design of the site master plan. The resulting master plan identifies all proposed improvements and critical adjacencies.

Typically we will have at least 2 master plan concepts for our clients to review at the Preliminary stage. After reviewing with clients and stakeholders or hosting a public meeting, we narrow down the concept to create a Final Master Plan. This plan then helps you communicate a professional plan of action and demonstrate consensus of community. It codifies a long-term vision for a park which leaves no room for no willy-nilly improvements creating obstacles.

Funding and Grants

It provides a realistic basis for immediate funding allocations or long-term budgetary planning for both construction costs and ‘soft costs’ (i.e. professional services, survey, geotechnical investigations, etc.) It can identify project partners and potential funding sources such as Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. This can then be used as supporting documentation for grant applications such as narratives and probable cost opinions.

Graphics can play an important part in communicating your master plan vision. We frequently utilize color-rendered site plans and 3-D renderings. We love that these graphics can serve so many purposes for our clients, from grant documentation to use on social media to create buzz about your projects, park system, and future programming.

At DLZ, we love to see the communities in which we live and work grow in a positive direction. Site master planning is just one way we can help achieve that shared vision. It is our goal that our designs reflect the needs and character of their communities. The best reward is knowing we have helped create spaces for residents and visitors alike to enjoy!