Working Outside In Summer – Health & Safety Best Practices For Construction Projects In Hot Weather:

Working Outside In Summer – Health & Safety Best Practices For Construction Projects In Hot Weather

Working Outside In Summer – Health & Safety Best Practices For Construction Projects In Hot Weather

Katy Hall - 13-May-2024

UK summers are getting hotter and drier each year, and site managers should be careful to implement health and safety best practices to avoid heatstroke, sunburn, exhaustion, and other injuries, especially during heat waves. Let’s look at the main ways you can keep your team happy and healthy in hot weather without disrupting productivity:

1) Implement A Hot Weather Policy

A hot weather policy is a must have for construction projects during the summer, and it should be communicated effectively to all on-site employees well in advance. A good policy will include guidelines on taking breaks, water intake, wearing the right clothing, and staying cool, as well as specific protocols for dealing with heat-related illnesses and emergencies.

2) Provide Adequate Water And Rest Breaks

One of the simplest and easiest ways to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion is to provide your workers with a good supply of cold drinking water and regular rest breaks in shaded and cool areas. Workers should be encouraged to bring a water bottle to work and have access to a tap or watercooler from which they can help themselves to refills. Indoor rest areas should be well ventilated and air-conditioned if possible.

3) Use Suncream And Protective Clothing

On-site workers should be advised to wear protective clothing and suncream to prevent skin damage and exposure to harmful UV rays. This includes loose-fitting long-sleeved T-shirts, wide brimmed hats, and UV rated sunglasses. Site managers should consider providing high SPF suncream to employees in case people turn up without their own. This is always cheaper than losing days due to heat exhaustion or severe sunburn.

4) Adjust Your Work Schedule To Accommodate Hot Weather

Keep a close eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to adjust your work schedule to avoid extreme heat waves. During the hottest weather, consider scheduling the bulk of your work during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, and avoiding the 11 AM to 4 PM danger zone when direct sunlight and heat are at their most intense.

5) Monitor Your Workers For Symptoms Of Heat-related Illness

Site managers and supervisors should be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion, and workers should be encouraged to check their colleagues periodically for any signs of illness. These can include dehydration, dizziness, confusion, and headaches, or even simply looking unwell. If you suspect a heat-related condition, provide immediate medical attention and call 111 if their symptoms worsen or persist.

Enjoying The Summer

Construction projects in hot weather can be extremely dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. However, with a sensible approach to working outdoors and an attitude of watching each other’s backs, construction projects can be enjoyed all throughout the summer, making full use of the industry’s most productive season.

Further Information

See our Tips for Working in Hot Weather, and click here to contact SC4 Carpenters today.

Image Source: Unsplash

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