Construction work in hot weather
With a large proportion of construction work taking place outdoors, it’s important to make sure that the workforce are prepared and that health and safety is considered when working in the hot weather of summer.
 Protect skin
If working outdoors in summer, it is important to consider the sun’s ultra-violet rays to be a workplace hazard. Construction workers are 6 times as likely to develop skin cancer so it is important that the workforce apply plenty of sunscreen.
It’s not enough to apply some sunscreen when the sun hits, the first application needs to be made before going outside, with reapplication every two hours.
 Keep the top on
Keeping clothes will be a relief for workmates and will provide greater protection from the sun. A wide brim hard hat and a bandana around the neck will provide further protection and prevent over-heating.
Ensure there’s enough water available on site to keep workers hydrated throughout the day.
 Avoid the sun in the hottest parts of the day
If it’s possible then try to schedule 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 it is necessary to work through the heat then ensure that workers are taking regular breaks in the shade.
 Stay alert
It is important to 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.
 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.
 Be conscious of sunburn and heatstroke
If experiencing the following symptoms: flushing, confusion, headache, nausea, rapid breathing, faster heartbeat, then it may be the cause of a heat stroke. Attempt to cool down with water and call the emergency services.
This article was originally published here by FMB on 10 June 2016.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Cold stress.
- First aider.
- FMB articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Health and safety consultant.
- Health and safety for building design and construction.
- Heat stress.
- How to work safely on a construction site in the dark.
- How to work safely on a construction site in winter.
- Injuries on construction sites.
- Personal protective equipment.
- Safety briefing.
- Site rules.
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