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7 Tips For Working In Heat

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

With a July heatwave hitting the UK and record temperatures seen in Scotland, it is vital that businesses consider the impact of the hot weather on their workers. To ensure worker safety in the construction and manufacturing industries, heat safety must be at the forefront of the conversation this summer.

For KITE, safety is the priority all year round. It is crucial that employers recognise the risks that accompany extreme heat in order to safeguard their workers. Here are our 7 top tips to avoid the strain, stress, and safety threats that arise when working through a heatwave.

1. Planning: checking the heat index

While it might seem obvious to check the weather forecast for extreme heat, a useful way to predict the perceived temperature, as well as the actual temperature. The heat index takes into account humidity as well as the air temperature, resulting in a more accurate estimate of how the heat will affect your employees.

heat indication drawing with different colours to show the difference between heat classes

2. Know the signs:

It is easy in the hot weather for workers to overheat, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Watch out for changes in skin colour, pulse rate, breathing and body temperature. Signs of heat exhaustion also include headaches, dizziness, extreme sweating and cramps. If a person suffering these symptoms cannot cool down within 30 minutes, it should be treated as an emergency.

a drawing of a male person sweating under the sun with a fan on his hand

3. Ensure working environment doesn’t overheat

Some basic measures to reduce temperature in an indoor workplace include opening windows, making use of fans and proper insulation of heating pipes to ensure they do not emit more warmth into the working space. Keeping blinds closed in offices and moving workers away from windows where possible is also helpful.

a temperature measure close to air conditioner

4. Minimise work in the sun:

If your workplace is outdoors, steps should be taken to avoid working in direct sunlight. These include working at times to avoid the midday sun, e.g. between 10am and 4pm. This is generally the time when UV rays are most intense and the temperature is highest. If working during this time is unavoidable, be sure that plenty of shade, water and sunscreen is available.

5. Ensure equipment does not overheat:

Keeping equipment cool during the summer is a key safety concern for workers. Steps to reduce the risk of overheating include regular inspections, storing equipment in shaded areas and keeping equipment clean. In particular, it is vital to make sure fans, radiators and other cooling systems are clear of debris to minimise heat damage.

6. Encourage rest and re-hydration:

Ensuring that workers are properly rested and hydrated will reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and improve morale. While it may appear to impact the amount of work that gets done, the avoidance of heat exhaustion and heat stress are far more beneficial to the productivity of a business – not to mention improving the health and happiness of your workforce.

a lady drinking juice and resting

7. Don’t neglect your regular safety checks:

Even though it is prudent to take extra measures relating to the hot weather, it is important to keep practicing normal safety routines. Including heat-related measures should enhance, rather than replace the safety measures that keep workers healthy and protected.

Safety is paramount at KITE and these are just some of the ways we encourage businesses to put their workers first. As we approach the likelihood of ever hotter summers and accompanying dangers, have a look at how KITE are minimising their carbon footprint in their products. Additionally, consider how replacing steel with GRP can reduce the potential for overheating. KITE’s Glass Reinforced Plastic products are built to last in the heat as GRP is non-conductive, lighter and more durable than steel. As temperatures continue to rise and we adjust to the new climate, KITE has you covered.


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