Staying Safe this Summer when Working at Height
16th June 2017
When working outdoors in the summer, it is important to minimise your operator's risk to health by accounting for a number of seasonal hazards that could potentially arise.
With an increased exposure to direct sunlight within the summer months, the number of injuries and illnesses can dramatically rise when working at height on equipment such as mobile booms and scissor lifts.
There are several factors to consider to help reduce these risks which include the following:
Direct sunlight control
Heat exhaustion is a common sun-related illness that can be caused from prolonged exposure in the sun when combined with strenuous activity. It is important to remember that when operators are working on equipment at a high level, they have no shelter from the sun and their exposure to the sun is much greater than when working at ground level so better precautions must be taken into consideration.
During the peak sun hours of the day, it is advised that operators working at height outside keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, wear sun cream and keep it topped up throughout the day, and wear appropriate equipment such as hard hats, glasses and protection clothing to minimise direct exposure. It is advised that during break and lunch times, operators should rest in a shaded area that is away from any direct sunlight to allow them to cool down.
A vital part of ensuring all possible risks have been assessed is making sure your operators understand how to use the equipment correctly. Anyone using the equipment should be sufficiently trained and competent to do so in all conditions. In the summer, remind your operators to keep in mind the following:
- Always check ground and weather conditions before operating and ensure setup is safe- in the summer the ground may be hot, dry, cracked or dusty. And just because it's hot, don't underestimate the breeze; check the wind speed
- Make sure that your equipment has been stored away from any direct sunlight prior to being used and is not too hot to work with
- If equipment has been hired, it is important that you get detailed instructions on how to deal with issues or faults which may occur in extreme weather conditions.
Businesses can significantly reduce the risk to health of their employees in the summer months by having the correct safety requirements in place and ensuring that all employees are equpped with the relevant skills and knowledge.
For information on the training that we offer and for guidance on working safely at height this summer, please call Mentor Training Solutions on 01246 386900.