Now we’ve made it through the tough conditions of Winter, we now face a new set of challenges. As much as we all like the sun and the hot weather that comes with it, you cannot underestimate the dangers. This blog will look at what hazards come with the hot weather and tips on how to minimise them.
Hot Weather Hazards
The hot weather causes us to sweat more. If this is not met by drinking more water, we become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, tiredness and confusion. Being hydrated is vital for normal body function, so if you are dehydrated for too long, you could cause long term damage. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. On hot days you should be consuming more than the daily recommendation.
Heat stroke is a type of hypothermia as the body’s temperature drastically changes. The body loses the ability to cool itself down which can put pressure on vital organs. It can be fatal if not treated properly. An individual with heat stroke can feel dizzy, confused and experience muscle cramps. The symptoms can appear very suddenly. Educate your workforce on the symptoms and make sure they are keeping a close eye on each other.
Sunburn is caused through sunlight exposure. This can be painful and uncomfortable for the individual. Whilst most cases of sunburn aren’t dangerous when treated quickly, some can lead to further problems such as skin cancer. Stress the importance of using sun cream and wearing protective clothing from the heat such as sun hats.
As an employer, you have certain responsibilities to protect your workforce.
Provide Sustainable Water
It is essential to drink water on hot days to stay hydrated. As an employer you must provide clean running water in which your workforce can easily access.
Try to avoid working in the midday heat. Reschedule your work so you can avoid the hottest part of the day and reduce the effects of the heat.
Wear light weight lose fitting clothing. An employer doesn’t have to modify any uniform to accommodate the heat, however it could be beneficial allowing your workers to take a slightly more relaxed approach in order to stay cool.
More Frequent Rests
Schedule more rest breaks throughout the day to avoid over exposure to the sun. Use these breaks to drink plenty of water and cool down. If it’s safe to do so, take off some of your protective clothing to aid the cooling down process.
Eric knows a thing or two about working in hot weather. This week he had this to say:
Make sure to look out for those who are more vulnerable to the high temperatures. For example, the elderly or those on medication. As an employer, you could give them more rest time so they have a greater time to cool off. Ensure that they are close to water at all time and that they are functioning normally.
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