4 key steps to protecting your staff from summer health risks
Posted on 22nd Jun, 2018 | By Lorretta Tatham
It’s no secret that our summers can be relatively mild compared to those in certain other countries. Unfortunately, this means that occasionally employers can underestimate the risks that the soaring temperatures can pose to their workforces, such as heatstroke and exhaustion. Don’t be one of these employers! In this week’s post we’ll be talking about some of the most pressing risks to your workforce, and some easy measures you can take to mitigate them.
1. Make sure that employees are appropriately dressed and equipped
Whether your employees are working indoors or outdoors, loose-fitting, breathable clothing should always be the go-to standard of dress wherever safety standards permit it. Most office workers will find it easier to make the transition, but those in manual jobs may need to have such clothing and equipment provided to them, in accordance with the demands of their jobs. This includes Personal Protective Equipment, which should account for the changing weather whenever possible.
It’s worth noting that sometimes, even something as minor as a pair of sunglasses can help certain employees do their job more effectively in sunshine. Even this mitigation for the sun’s glare can protect their vision and cut down on the risk of sun-blindness and related dangers.
2. Prepare the working environment
For outdoor workers who might be doing more intensive tasks in the sweltering sun and heat, as an employer you must make sure they have the means to keep themselves safe and cool. For example, you must ensure that they have access to a shaded area, and that they take regular breaks. Meanwhile, for indoor environments such as offices you’ll need to make sure that they are properly ventilated. Don’t be afraid to open windows, turn on fans, or get the air conditioning serviced. It’s also worth considering whether to close the blinds. It may seem a little glum, but the decreased light into the room will also result in an according drop in temperature!
3. Keep everyone hydrated
This might be so basic a step as to appear obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people neglect it! Employers must ensure that everyone under their employ has enough to drink throughout the day – and that they do so! Outside workers might not have as easy access to tap water as those in offices. It therefore might be worth preparing a tank of water in a shaded area, so that they can help themselves when they need to.
4. Know what to do in case of an emergency
All the measures we’ve mentioned above are designed to protect your staff from exhaustion, heatstroke, sun-blindness, distractions and similar risks. However, sometimes accidents can happen even in the most meticulously prepared of workplaces. If or when they do, you need to be prepared on how to handle it, even if it’s something as simple as putting the person affected in the recovery position. By law, every workplace will have someone in the office who is trained in first aid procedures in case someone faints at work, but it never hurts to furnish other members of staff with some basic medical knowledge too.
This is where we come in. Here at Browns Safety, we offer a number of first aid safety courses aimed at establishing a base of knowledge for medical techniques and procedures. They can be booked for either a single delegate, or a whole group. Simply click on the link above to find out more, or to book your place give us a call on 01282 615517. We’re here to help!