Summer is on its way! Here are our top tips for keeping cool on site.
We know that summer doesn’t officially start until next Thursday, but we’ve already been lucky enough to have experienced record-breaking heat this year! We understand that working outside can get uncomfortable in the summer sun so we’ve put together our top tips to staying cool on site in the heat:
1. Stay hydrated -Your body depends on water to survive, it uses the water to maintain your body temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints. Without its daily intake of water, your body becomes dehydrated. It’s important to recognise the signs of dehydration in order to stay safe on site, signs include dizziness, headaches, lack of sweat, sleepiness or fatigue, a dry mouth and confusion. The average adult should be consuming around 3.7 litres of water per day, so it’s a good idea to keep a water bottle on you when working on site.
2. Wear loose clothing – Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothing on site can help keep you cool on a hot summer’s day. However, this doesn’t mean you should be swapping your PPE for a pair of shorts! Remember you should always dress to the safety standards of the site, but where possible, wear clothing which allows your skin to breathe, this will help your body to cool down quicker.
3. Keep your eyes safe – Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium; these are all conditions that can eventually lead to blindness so ensure you are taking care of your eyes in the sun!
4. Get some shade – If you’re working outside then taking regular breaks out of the sun is very important. This will allow your body a few minutes to cool back down to a regulatory temperature, this is also a good time to drink some more water and rehydrate.
5. Apply sun cream – The suns harmful UV rays can be very dangerous when spending too much time in the sun, protect your skin with a high SPF sun cream. We would suggest using a waterproof sun cream in order to prevent it from coming off with your sweat. Your skin can be harmed by constant sun exposure, whether or not you see a burn. Severe sunburn throughout life increases the risk for melanoma and premature ageing of the skin.
6. Start early – If you’re lucky enough to have control over your working hours then we suggest avoiding work between 11am and 3pm. These are peak sun intensity hours when UV light is strongest. Working outside of these hours will not only be cooler but you are also at less of a risk sun-related conditions.
7. Know the signs – Heat stress, heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are all heat-related illnesses that can occur at the construction site. Health and Safety trained personnel will be able to provide first aid to anyone presenting symptoms, however knowing the symptoms before it gets to the severity of needing first aid is important. Signs of heat exhaustion can include tiredness and weakness, feeling faint or dizzy, a headache, muscle cramps, vomiting, intense thirst, urinating less often and having much darker urine than usual. If left untreated, more severe symptoms of heatstroke can develop, including confusion, disorientation, seizures and a loss of consciousness.
7. Avoid Caffeine – While many simply can’t function without their daily fix, forgoing your morning tea or coffee can help to keep you cool. Caffeine increases your heart rate & blood pressure and speeds up your metabolism, all of which raises your body temperature. The same goes for drinks with a high sugar content, which can have similar effects, such as energy drinks.
At CarmichaelUK, it’s important to us that our candidates are always in the best health, It’s for this reason that we offer free medicals to all of our workers on site. To find out more, log-in to your Hummingbird Account here.
Image: Construction site Source: www.shutterstock.com