As we see temperature soar to record highs in the UK , let’s talk summer ladder safety.
One of the main risks when working in high temperatures is heat stroke/stress.Heat stress can have various effects on a person, often starting with red skin, followed by a dizziness and or headache . Definitely symptoms which aren’t welcome when working at height on a ladder or roof. So for your safety, try avoid working in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day which is generally noon to about three. If possible, find ways to work indoors or in the shade during this time.
Typical heat stress symptoms;
- An inability to concentrate;
- Muscle cramps;
- Heat rash;
- Severe thirst – a late symptom of heat stress;
- Heat exhaustion – fatigue, giddiness, nausea, headache, moist skin;
- Heat stroke – hot dry skin, confusion, convulsions and eventual loss of consciousness. This is the most severe disorder and can result in death if not detected at an early stage
High temperatures can not only effect people but also various surrounding objects and job sites. Items which are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time can get hot and even melt. Ladders can easily absorb heat, making them too hot to use. Roofing materials can melt, weakening roof structures and causing workers to slip, trip or fall.
Tips for working in warm or hot conditions
- Make sure you take regular breaks and drink lots of water to keep hydrated.
- Select the right gear based on the conditions you are facing.
- Wear appropriate clothing and skin protection to protect yourself against the heat and sun.
- Wear glasses help to prevent the risk of being temporary blinded, possibly causing a fall.
- Take regular breaks from the sunlight to cool down.
- If you display any heat stress symptoms refrain from all working at height activities!
For more information on heat stress see: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg451.pdf