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How to Keep Cool on a Construction Site

6th July 2018

Hopefully summer 2018 will be remembered as the summer of long, hot sunny days and the summer England won the World Cup! Whilst the hot & sunny weather is a welcome change from the usual drizzly rain we get in the UK, outdoor workers need to be aware of the risks and make sure they keep cool on site as the heatwave continues, but the work still needs to be done.

Workers exposed to extreme heat are more likely to suffer from heat related illnesses. According to research, heat-related illnesses can be linked to injuries on construction sites from falls, equipment operation accidents and other on-the-job incidents. So, it’s really important that Construction workers who work intensively outdoors take the proper actions in order to stay cool on site.

Here are our top tips for staying cool on site:

Water, Water, Water!

It’s important to stay hydrated, both the night before a work day and then throughout the working day too. But remember to stick with water (& sports drinks that contain electrolytes help too!). Fizzy pop and energy drinks  actually dehydrate you, so stay away from those on the especially hot & sunny days.

Dress for the weather

 To keep yourself protected from the sun’s rays, so make sure you wear cool, loose fitting clothes that have room for you to breathe! Even though it might be tempting to take some clothing off when the temperature is rising, don’t. This will leave your skin exposed to the sun and could leave to severe sunburn or heat stroke! Always protect any exposed skin with sun cream – a

minimum SPF of 30 should do the job (but keep on layering throughout the day!)

Cover up

 Your head and neck control heat loading on your body. Keeping these areas covered will help to keep you cool. You should also look for any chance to get out of the sun. Make sure you take breaks in the shade, and rotate your work if possible so you aren’t in the sun all day!

Put a damp towel in the freezer overnight

You’ll then be able to keep cooler during the day by wrapping the towel around your neck as you’re working. Your neck is a really important area of the body to keep cool!

Recognise the early signs of heat exhaustion

Dizziness, heavy sweating, rapid pulse & headache. If you start displaying some of these symptoms – head to shade and cool down before these symptoms lead to heat stroke! Keep an eye on your co-workers, too.

Remember, outdoor work can be challenging at the best of times. Even the fittest workers will feel the impact of extreme heat. It’s important to take as many measures as you can to make sure you keep cool when working outside during the heatwave (however long it lasts!). Remember to keep an eye out for early signs of heat exhaustion in yourself & others.

If you’re short staffed on a site this summer, contact your local Bromak office to see how we can help.

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