The sun is shining and the heatwave has most definitely arrived across the UK and Ireland. I hope you aren’t complaining! Did you know the hottest day ever recorded in Irish history was way back in 1887 at Kilkenny Castle, the temperature reached a staggering 33.3C. Forecasters have predicted the heatwave will reach its peak on Thursday and Friday, with some predicating it could smash the record set in 1887! A part of me is happy about this, but in all reality, I would much prefer it to be happening on Saturday and Sunday.
In any case, the sun, is one of nature’s most dangerous weapons and has the potential to cause accidents and serious damage on construction sites should workers not take the extra precautions needed when working in extreme conditions. With this in mind, we have decided to compile a list of safety tips to help you through the warm weather over the coming days.
O'Neill & Brennan top 5 hot weather construction safety tips:
Water is essential, you should be drinking at least 2-4 litres of water a day in extreme heat conditions, furthermore, you should be looking to add some flavour to your water such as lemons, oranges etc. This will help you get those important electrolytes into the body, which will help you function. Sports drinks such as Powerade and Lucozade are also good ways to get the electrolytes on board.
2. Avoid caffeine and cigarettes
Redbull, Monster energy drinks, caffeine, sound familiar to you? These items all offer minimal hydration and should be avoided where possible. Also, in warm weather conditions, cigarettes make it harder to respire oxygen to where it needs to go. We aren’t telling you what to do, but we are advising you to be conscious of what you’re consuming and how much of it you’re consuming.
3. Eat a healthy lunch
Pack a healthy lunch that will keep you fuelled for the day ahead. Foods such as fruit, wholemeal bread, pasta and salad are all high in energy sources and should get you through the slog. It is highly advised to stay clear of junk foods, as in high heat, they will stress the body. Finally, try eating a bigger breakfast, the last thing you want in this weather is to be hungry with a few hours till your lunch break.
4. Find shade and use sun cream
Try configure your work in shaded areas where possible, avoiding direct sun exposures. Remember, some shade is better than none! BRING SUN CREAM! Don’t tell yourself “I’ll be fine” make sure you bring sun cream on site with you, don’t be naïve, this is how workers end up missing numerous days of work, due to severe sun burn.
5. Keep an eye on one another
Last but not least, keep an eye on your work colleagues and be alert for any strange behaviour that could potentially be a sign of heat-related illness and take some early steps to intervene. Early symptoms include, disorientation, stumbling, lethargy, dropping materials and tools, slurred speech or unresponsiveness.