SUN AND HEAT
Despite many of us craving sunshine in the summer months – especially during holiday periods – it can be quite damaging to colleagues working outside for long periods throughout the day.
We have procedures in place to ensure all colleagues stay safe. These include reminding colleagues to:
STAY HYDRATED. We make sure there are adequate supplies of cool water available to all colleagues, as cool water is absorbed into the body quicker than very cold water. Anyone feeling thirsty is likely to already be dehydrated so it’s important to drink water at regular intervals during the day – especially before, during and after physical labour.
PROTECT SKIN FROM HARMFUL RAYS Protect skin from harmful UV rays. We advise that colleagues wear their PPE and lightweight uniforms as clothing will stop most of the UV but we encourage all colleagues to use at least a SPF 30 sunscreen.
KEEP HAND SANITISER OUT OF THE SUN. Any alcohol based hand sanitisers need to be kept out of direct sunlight as extreme heat can cause the alcohol in the sanitiser to release vapours that can ignite. Store products in a cool place and, in vehicles, keep in a glove box or a cool, dark place.
AMEND SCHEDULES WHERE POSSIBLE. We encourage, where feasible, to try and schedule large amounts of outside manual handling work either before 11am or after 3pm to avoid the typically hottest parts of the day.
CHECK ON COLLEAGUES. We remind all colleagues about signs of heat stress so they can look out for each other. Signs include: an inability to concentrate, muscle cramps, heat rash, severe thirst and fainting. If anyone is experiencing these they need to cool off immediately using a cold compress or cold water.