Is your site prepared for warmer weather?
Hot weather conditions can be dangerous for construction site workers. Before beginning work during the warmer months, it’s important to consider how the weather can impact construction site health and safety.
Summer may seem like the ideal time for construction work to proceed. There’s less chance of rain, snow and ice. However, there are procedures that need to be in place to protect construction workers from the heat.
Here at Mr Plant Hire, we are experienced in construction site safety all year round. Read our guide on why you should have a summer action plan for staying safe on site.
Identify the risks
Identifying the top safety hazards for construction workers during the summer can help to prevent them. Making sure that employees are aware of the hazards they could face is vital to maintaining their safety. Your construction site needs to be prepared for all weather conditions at all times. Here at just some of the risks that workers face during extreme heat:
Construction work relies on a lot of manual labour. Physical jobs during a heatwave can lead to extreme fatigue. This extreme fatigue can lead to a lack of energy and concentration. The last thing anybody would want is for a construction worker to make a mistake.
Although vitamin D is good for us, excessive heat exposure can lead to sunburn. Sunburn can cause red, irritated and painful skin. Any skin that comes into contact with the sun can experience sunburn. There is even the chance of painful blisters forming.
Heatstroke is one of the biggest hazards to outdoor construction workers. Symptoms can set in suddenly which is why it’s so important to be aware of the signs of heatstroke. Signs include headaches, fainting, nausea and dizziness. Heatstroke can be life-threatening, so medical care needs to be sought after at the first sign.
Dehydration is another common hazard that can occur on-site during the summer. When employees are hard at work, it can be difficult to remember to keep drinking. The labour they’re doing and the amount they’re sweating can contribute to a worker feeling dehydrated.
Another issue that construction workers may face on site is poor visibility. When the sun is shining, it can greatly reduce visibility and put workers at risk of an accident. Working on a construction site already poses safety risks when you are operating heavy machinery and working from a height. From 2016-2021, 50% of deaths over the same five year period were due to falls from a height. Poor visibility makes it impossible to work from a height safely.
How can companies ensure their workers are safe in the heat?
It is essential that employers have an action plan in place to protect their workers from the heat this summer. When working in extreme weather, measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of everybody on site. Planning for such adverse weather results in optimum construction site safety.
Training is key to ensuring that construction workers remain safe on site this summer. All employees should be aware of the signs of heatstroke and other medical concerns. They should also be taught how best to prevent them.
Planning around the heat
Planning around the heat could mean choosing the coolest parts of the day to complete certain tasks. It could also mean planning work around where the sun hits the site. Working in areas with the most shelter helps to keep workers cool, avoid poor visibility and prevent sunburn.
Avoid working alone
It is important for workers to avoid working alone during the heat. If a worker is exhibiting signs of heat stroke, their colleague might be the first to notice.
Take regular breaks
Workers should have designated rest areas. Rest areas should be a place for workers to sit down, destress and cool off from the heat. They should also have access to water
Appropriate personal protective equipment must be provided by the employer or contracting company. Every construction worker must have the equipment that they need and it must be suitable for working in warmer weather conditions.
Reducing physical exertion
When working in hot summer weather, physical labour can be exhausting. Providing excavators instead of expecting workers to manually dig can help to reduce their physical exertion. A construction site poses safety risks to its workers without the added risk of heat stroke, dehydration and other medical issues during the summer. To view our range of tool hire equipment, all of which can reduce physical exertion, click here.
Choose Mr Plant Hire today
Here at Mr Plant Hire, we are proud to be able to provide reliable plant and tool hire services. We have all the equipment you need for your next construction project. Our team is able to offer their advice and guidance on how to form a summer action plan to keep your construction workers safe. Please call our friendly team today on 02083 513 434 to find out more.