Staying Safe While Working Outside in Summer
As temperatures soared to unprecedented levels during a heat wave that broke plenty of records, the UK was given a healthy reminder of the importance of being safe while working outside in summer.
Often, there’s a misconception about the danger associated with the sun, exposure for long periods and UV levels in the UK, with some believing that lower temperatures, compared to sunnier climes, mean reduced risk.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, with the need for consideration when working in jobs that involve extensive periods of time outside.
How can you protect yourself?
To avoid certain ailments due to prolonged sun exposure – like sun stroke, sun burn, and dehydration – it is important to plan in advance and take appropriate action:
- Stay hydrated – Working in the sun and warm conditions can result in increased perspiration and water loss from the body as a result. Keeping well-stocked with water or water-based juices is a handy way to stay hydrated - make sure to take regular drinks breaks.
- Don’t overheat – Keeping your temperature down may prove tricky in a job that involves extensive periods outside, particularly in areas with no shade to shield you from direct sunlight. But by wearing caps to protect your face and allocating regular break times to get into some shade, you can mitigate this issue to an extent. Make sure to not wear thick clothing which can significantly add to your body temperature.
- Protect yourself from sunburn – Always wear sun cream if you know you’re going to be in direct sunlight for long periods. Make sure it is a high factor and apply repeatedly throughout the day. Wearing light, long sleeved tops can help prevent arms being affected by the sun, while a cap helps cover the head and face.
What should employers do?
As per the recommendations of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), your employer should carry out a risk assessment to cater for and consider potential injury or illness associated with working in the sun.
They should provide access to free, cool drinking water, while attempting to reschedule work for less heat intensive times of the day. Your employer should also offer more frequent rest breaks, shaded areas to rest in, and educate workers on the symptoms of heat stress.
How can Winns help if you have been affected?
Winn Solicitors can support you if you’ve been injured at work and it wasn’t your fault. If your employer hasn’t followed appropriate and relevant health and safety guidelines around working in the conditions mentioned above, then they are accountable for any injuries or illness sustained.
Make the call to Winn Solicitors now to discuss your circumstances. Holding a no-obligation chat, we can establish if you’re eligible to make a claim.
If you’re eligible, and you instruct us to conduct a claim, we’ll do all the legwork for you on a no win no fee basis. That means no upfront costs, and payment for our services will come from the compensation received.
Let our dedicated team work to get the compensation you deserve. Make the call today.
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