Summer is here – longer days, sunshine, and the outdoors sound like the perfect conditions to get all that work done. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, hazards and risks are forever present and summer brings with it its own risks. Have you thought about what you are doing to protect your team from the effects of the summer sun and heat?
“Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap” to minimise the obvious risks of sunburn or skin cancer, but we also need to be aware of the risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration and fatigue.
Heat exhaustion occurs when our bodies overheat from the loss of water and salt due to sweating. If left untreated it can lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke occurs when the body is no longer able to keep itself cool causing a high body temperature of 39.4 degrees or more.
Heat rash and heat cramps are earlier stages of the onset of heat exhaustion. Knowing the signs and what to do will help prevent the onset of heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.
If you have underlying health issues that could be affected by extreme heat make sure you let your business know.
Managing the risks
Planning is key – With the sun at its peak between 10am-4pm, make sure you take regular breaks within this time and where possible arrange work that can be done in covered or shaded areas to be completed during this time period.
Take it easy – Don’t overdo things. Keep strenuous tasks to a minimum and regularly rotate work tasks.
Listen to your body – Just because the weather is nice and you can work longer to get those jobs done doesn’t mean that you should. Fatigue affects your mental and physical capabilities making it harder for you to concentrate. When we lack concentration is when incidents can occur.
Discussing the effects of the Sun (UV and Heat) at your Safety/Toolbox meetings is a great way to remind everyone of this often overlooked environmental hazard. You can easily record your Safety/toolbox meetings using the HazardCo App.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your work hazards give our Advisory team a call on 0800 555 339, option 4.