We all welcome a little sunshine as spring and summer roll around, and this can make the job much more pleasant for outdoor workers. But as an employer you have the responsibility for the health of those employees who work outside most of the day, and the risks associated with hot, sunny weather.
If you’re a manager or an employer of people who work outside, you might find the following information helpful.
Risks of working in hot and sunny conditions
The sun’s UV rays can cause skin damage, including sun burn, ageing and skin cancer. This should be considered a hazard for people working outside. Heat can cause dehydration, so drink plenty of water.
Tips for employers
Make sure you pass on information about working outside in your routine health and safety training, informing employees that a tan is not healthy.
Encourage outdoor workers to regularly check their skin for strange spots and moles changing colour or size, and to seek medical advice if there is any concern.
Educate employees about the importance of staying hydrated and seeking areas of shade during their breaks. Situate break areas and water points in locations of shade.
Encourage workers to stay covered up, using hats and long sleeved tops, and regularly apply sunscreen.
By ensuring your workforce is well equipped to deal with hot and sunny conditions and educated about the risks involved, you reduce the amount of employee health problems and sick days. Find further information within the HSE’s sun protection leaflet or speak to the team at OHBM.