Staying safe while working in the hot weather

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On this page we've collated a quick reminder of the things to be aware of when working outdoors in hot weather and links to health advice.

Information from the Met Office on the current heat wave alert level is available here.

Advice on how to stay safe when working in the sun is available from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) which recommends:

  • Covering up exposed skin
  • Wearing a hat to protect your head
  • Seeking shade during the hottest part of the day
  • Frequent application of sun screen during the day
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Checking for changes to your skin

Further advice is available from the HSE and Macmillan websites.

Working in hot weather - top 10 tips

  1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids.
  2. Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks can hurt more than help.
  3. Wear protective clothing. Lightweight, light coloured and loose fitting clothing helps protect against heat. Change clothing if it gets completely saturated.
  4. Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your limits and work safely in heat. If possible, avoid work at the hottest time of day. Work in the shade if you can.
  5. Schedule frequent breaks. Take time out for rest periods and water breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas.
  6. Use a damp rag. Wipe your face or put it around your neck.
  7. Avoid getting sun burn. Cover up – don’t forget the back of the neck. Wear a hat. Use sun screen.
  8. Be alert to signs of heat-related illness. Know what to look for and look out for others working with you. Signs include headaches, dizzy spells, loss of appetite and nausea, excessive sweating, cramps in the arms, legs and stomach, fast breathing and pulse, a temperature above 38C, and intense thirst.
  9. Avoid direct sun. Find shade or block out the sun if possible.
  10. Eat cold foods. Particularly fruit and salads with high water content.

See also:

Last edited on: 22:07:2019

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