Last edited 18 Nov 2020

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Federation of Master Builders Institute / association Website

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.



[edit] 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.

[edit] 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 bandanna around the neck will provide further protection and prevent over-heating.

[edit] Hydrate

Ensure there’s enough water available on site to keep workers hydrated throughout the day.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

--Federation of Master Builders

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