fbpx

Working in the Heat

image

Summer is officially upon us, and this year it’s been a scorcher…

But when is hot too hot?

Exhaustion, rash, sunstroke and heat stress are serious problems for everybody this summer, let alone those of us who are required to be outside all day as part of our job. So here are a few things to look out for in the heat, and a couple of suggestions on how to cope.

 

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Two of the more common illnesses related to the heat are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

While heat exhaustion usually gets better once you’ve cooled down, it can lead to heat stroke – a potentially life-threatening issue.

Potential symptoms:

 

  • Muscle cramp
  • Heat rash
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Severe thirst

 

If you or a colleague experience any of these signs, be sure to take a break and speak to your line manager.

If symptoms persist or get worse after 30 minutes – call 999.

 

Prevention

While it might be uncomfortable dealing with the heat at home, we can usually do something about it – have a drink, sit in the shade, take off a jacket – however, at work that’s not always possible.

In some lines of work, it can be the very PPE to protect you that is causing you to overheat and lead to problems.

But what can we do?

 

  • Perform a risk assessment

Often working outside in the heat is unavoidable, but sometimes work can be reorganised to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Performing a risk assessment will allow you to assess the risks and identify any potential steps that could be taken to avoid or minimise them.

  • Assess your PPE

Some PPE can incorporate cooling systems or breathable fabrics for hotter conditions. But also encourage workers to wear loose fitting long trousers and t-shirts to protect from the sun’s UV rays. Sun cream should also be worn and topped up regularly to prevent long-term damage to the skin.

  • Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks in the shade will help your body to regulate its temperature and prevent heat exhaustion.

  • Have a drink (of water)

The more you sweat, the more you need to drink. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout your shift. Tea and coffee can dehydrate you and are not an ideal substitute.

  • Identify potentially vulnerable workers

If you know of people on your team that don’t do well in the heat or have other underlying health conditions, alert your line manager.

  • Speak out

Heatstroke can lead to death. If you, or someone in your crew, is feeling unwell – tell your line manager and get them to a cooler place to rest with plenty of water.

 

For more information and advice, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/

RELATED POSTS

  • Healthcare Newsletter – July 2021

    READ MORE
  • Healthcare Newsletter – May 2021

    READ MORE
  • Full Support Healthcare Now Available in Australia

    READ MORE
  • HSE Target Fabrication Companies With New Inspection Programme

    READ MORE
  • Healthcare Newsletter – April 2021

    READ MORE
  • World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021

    READ MORE
  • Full Support Healthcare Catalogue 2021

    READ MORE
  • PPE Essentials for Reopening

    READ MORE
  • Fabrication company fined for PPE and RPE breach

    READ MORE
  • Four-step plan announced to ease lockdown restrictions in England

    READ MORE
  • FFP3 Particulate Respirators – Keeping you safe at work

    READ MORE
  • Last chance to save on PPE

    READ MORE
  • Nitrile Gloves Now In Stock

    READ MORE
  • Easiair – the total solution

    READ MORE
  • Face Masks

    READ MORE
  • PPE Managed Services with Full Support

    READ MORE
  • PortaCount Fit Testing – Common issues and how to solve them

    READ MORE
  • The future of RPE compliance

    READ MORE
  • Introducing the new PortaCount Probing Tool

    READ MORE
  • COVID-19: What does it mean for the construction industry?

    READ MORE