Health and safety in the summer

Health and Safety in Summer

Health and safety in the summer should focus on the hazards that working outside in the warm temperatures can bring, such as heat related illnesses.

The height of summer is now upon us; with the excitement of the seaside, BBQ's and holidays it is easy to put things to one side.

However, health and safety should still be kept at the forefront of workplace considerations, particularly with the hazards summer can bring.

Managing health and safety in the summer

During the summer, more workers are undertaking tasks outdoors. Working outside in warm temperatures can cause heat illness such as heat stroke, exhaustion and fatigue. Workers can also be exposed to heat in hot indoor environments such as boiler rooms, kitchens, chemical plants etc.

Tips for preventing heat illness include:

  • Schedule time for workers to take breaks to get away from the heat
  • Ensure workers are drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated
  • Wear proper protective clothing
  • Ensure workers are using sun cream when working under direct sunlight
  • Educate workers and supervisors to recognise the symptoms of heat illness, and how to prevent it from occurring

Health and Safety in Summer

As well as heat illness, workers can face other hazards from working outdoors during summer including exposure to ultraviolet radiation (which can potentially cause skin cancer or sun burns), hearing damage from loud noises or chemical hazards such as pesticides.

Take extra precaution for summer jobs

Workers are more likely to be injured in workplace accidents during the initial stages of a new job – reasons for this can include a general lack of work experience (as summer jobs tend to be undertaken by young people), unfamiliarity with the workplace and work processes or a failure of employers to provide the necessary training.

Considerations for summer jobs should include:

  • Undertaking risk assessments of the workplace and key tasks (particularly for young persons)
  • Providing relevant induction and training covering all of the key hazards and risks
  • Having a positive health and safety culture that promotes safe behaviour
  • Communicate with the employee to ensure they understand instructions

It is important for both employers and employees to be aware of the hazards summer can bring; by understanding the risks and taking the necessary precautions, you can keep both yourself and others safe while working during the summer months.