While it can be great for sun worshippers, for those who work outdoors, the summer heat can be stifling and draining. Construction work also requires that PPE has to be worn on-site, which can add to the heat while performing a physically enduring job.
Construction union Unite, after the South East of England hit a 17-year high of 36C last week, has called for measures to be taken to protect tower crane drivers trapped in their ‘greenhouse’ cabs during the heatwave, and we have some tips to keep cool and safe while working in the hot sun.
There’s no such thing as drinking too much water during the summer. If you’re working in the sun all day, you will be sweating a fair amount, which can cause dehydration, which can present with symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, and feeling awful. Keep knocking back that water all day.
2. Get an early start
The hottest part of the day is generally around 3 pm to 6 pm, so if it’s possible to work an earlier shift to avoid the hottest part of the day, then take it.
It’s an easily forgotten task, and it can be a bit of a faff, but sunscreen is very important, not only for preventing you looking like a tomato but to protect your skin from the harmful rays from the sun. We would advise treading carefully when asking your work crew to help apply it to your back!
Aside from health and safety mandated PPE, and of course, a face mask if you cannot work and keep socially distant, give some thoughts to your workwear. Lightweight clothing made from natural fibres will make the day much easier.
5. Stay alert
It can be very easy to get heatstroke or exhaustion from being out in the sun, so keep alert, and take breaks in the shade if and when you need to, and drink more water!
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