The sun was shining in the UK this week, unfortunately today we’ve woken up to a bleak sky and wet weather. British weather varies daily but we do get the occasional bit of sunshine, so it’s important to make sure that you and your team are prepared to face the hottest days of summer.
1. Protect your skin. If you’re working outdoors this summer consider the sun’s ultra-violet rays to be a workplace hazard. Construction workers are 6 times as likely to develop skin cancer so ensure that your team knows their way around a bottle of sunscreen.
It’s not enough to apply some factor 15 when the sun hits, you need to make your first application before you go outside and reapply every two hours. We recommend you bring some spray on factor 30 on site – it’s quicker, easier, and you don’t need to enlist a friend to help you rub it in.
2. Put your top on. Keeping your clothes on this summer will be a relief for your workmates and will provide you with greater protection from the sun. A wide brim hard hat and a bandana around the neck will provide further protection and prevent over-heating.
3. Hydrate. Ensure there’s enough water available on site to keep workers hydrated throughout the day. Why not treat yourselves to and ice lolly in the afternoon too!
4. Avoid the sun in the hottest parts of the day. If it’s possible then try to schedule your work to avoid the hottest part of the day, or set up work in a shaded spot. However, with the weather changing every day this can be hard to arrange, so if you need to work through the heat then ensure that your workers are taking regular breaks in the shade.
5. Stay alert. Pay attention to how you’re feeling on a hot day – if you start to feel groggy then grab some water and take a bit of time out in the shade.
6. Watch out for each other. If you see a worker pushing themselves too far instruct them to take some time to rehydrate and cool down in the shade.
7. Be conscious of sunburn and heatstroke. If a member of your team is showing the following symptoms: flushing, confusion, headache, nausea, rapid breathing, faster heartbeat then they may be experiencing heat stroke. Attempt to cool them down with water and call the emergency services.