Feeling the heat? What can you do to keep your employees safe?
- Date: Wednesday 5th July 2017
- PDF: Download
As the start of the Summer creeps in, and as temperatures soar, many workers are spending days in unbearably warm offices or working outdoors in the blazing sunshine. The health and safety of employees is the main priority, and it is the employers duty to ensure staff are comfortable and protected from harmful UV rays during the summer months.
Actions you can take for employees working outdoors:
- Reschedule work to cooler times of the day
- Provide more frequent rest breaks and introduce shading to rest areas
- Provide free access to cool drinking water
- Introduce shading in areas where individuals are working
- Encourage the removal of personal protective equipment when resting in safe areas to help encourage heat loss
- Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of heat stress
- Can employees wear shorts on site? If the risk assessment requires protective clothing of any kind, this must be work or the work activity adjusted and assessed again
Actions you can take for employees working indoors:
- Provide fans, eg desk, pedestal or ceiling-mounted fans
- Ensure what windows can be opened
- Shade employees from direct sunlight with blinds or by using reflective film on windows to reduce the heating effects of the sun
- Site workstations away from direct sunlight or other situations or objects that radiate heat (eg plant or machinery)
- Relax formal dress code – but you must ensure that personal protective equipment is provided and used if required
- Allow sufficient breaks to enable employees to get cold drinks or cool down
- Provide additional facilities, eg cold water dispensers (water is preferable to caffeine or carbonated drinks)
- Provide air-cooling or air-conditioning plant
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01752 201616 or click here to view our Toolbox Talk video on Sun and UV Protection.