You might assume that it’s safer to work with scaffolding during the warmer months, but this is not always the case! Whilst icy and dark conditions can wreak havoc during winter, summer comes with its own health and safety hazards. The sun is a main culprit—unlike a lot of other work environments, construction and scaffold workers don’t have the luxury of air-conditioning or physical protection from sunlight.
With this in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the main hazards you might face if you work at height during this time of year. We’ve also pinpointed ways that could help you and your co-workers stay safe during the warm season.
Protect your skin
Sunburn is one of the most common complaints from scaffold and construction workers during the summer months. Even if you don’t burn, prolonged sun exposure can have serious consequences in the future, including skin cancer. The HSE recommends that outdoor workers wear sun cream containing at least SPF15, although we suggest wearing at least SPF30, and using a sun cream that contains added UVB protection.
Wearing a comfortable helmet can also help. Our APX05 Multi-Impact Helmet safeguards the skin on your head, whilst also offering breathable, cooling protection with its mesh-covered air vents.
Keep plenty of water on site
Dehydration can also be a big issue in the scaffolding industry, especially on scorching hot days. The NHS recommends drinking between 6 and 8 glasses of fluid per day, so if you’re working in the heat, then you should ideally aim for at least 2 litres of water throughout the day.
Having plenty of water bottles on site should help you keep hydrated. Placing them in shaded areas should encourage you to take some time out of the sun too.
Avoid losing your grip
Hot weather can often result in clammy hands. When you’re handling tools, you don’t want to risk them sliding and falling onto someone below. To help avoid this, we recommend that you wear a pair of MP1 Scaffolders Gloves. Supplied in packs of 10, the gloves provide you with more grip, and don’t overheat your hands as they’re made from a lightweight, breathable material.
Wearing a safety lanyard can also give you extra peace of mind. The lanyard connects the tools to your belt, so if you accidentally drop a tool, the lanyard will prevent it from falling. Our very own Screw Tool Safety Lanyard is a safe and affordable option.
George Roberts is here to help
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to stay safe on site during summer.
Here at George Roberts, we stock a range of high-quality scaffolding equipment, available for both sale and hire. Browse our online shop to get high-quality, low-priced items with the option of next day delivery.