It’s no secret that construction sites can be dangerous places and statistics have already shown that people who work in these environments are immediately at much more risk than anyone else. When it comes to the summer months the sites become even more treacherous though and there are additional precautions that should be taken in a bid to guard against the heat and dryness.
Bearing the above in mind, we’ll now take a look at some of the most important steps that should be taken as the temperatures starts to rise. It doesn’t matter whether you are in charge of a whole development or just happen to be embarking on a day’s work on site, it’s not an overstatement to claim that some of these suggestions might save your life.
Promote smart scheduling
This is a suggestion that might not be in the control of every reader, but if you do have the flexibility to schedule when you perform certain tasks it can make the construction site that little bit more safer. In an ideal world, you’d be looking to avoid the hottest periods of the day, which generally occur between 11.30am and 3.00pm. Naturally, this is rarely possible so you should instead look to at least work in the shaded areas during these periods. If you can reserve the strenuous work for the early and latter portions of the day, you can minimise your exposure to the sun and make life a lot more comfortable.
Invest in the correct equipment
A lot of emphasis is rightly placed on the heat during the summertime, but these temperatures also prompt dry conditions that can make the building site much more dangerous than normal. Dust is more prevalent and this can make surfaces slippy, meaning that workers should always be equipped in a pair of decent safety boots that are armed with sufficient grip.
On the subject of equipment, make sure your hi vis clothing is also up-to-date and in season. Wearing that bulky fluorescent jacket is naturally not the best idea, and you should be looking towards a hi vis vest to both beat the heat and make you visible to everyone around.
Forget about the builder’s body
It would be fair to say that builder’s have been stereotyped over the years for showing flesh at any opportunity. While that gleaming tan might be your main ambition for the summer, make sure you don’t overexpose yourself to the sun. As we mentioned earlier, staying shaded during the hottest periods of the day is the best piece of advice you can follow. If this isn’t possible, at least arm yourself with a baseball cap and a few layers of sun cream to prevent your body caving into the heat.
Understand heat exhaustion
The previous point leads on perfectly to heat exhaustion – which is one of the biggest dangers of overdoing it in the summer months. Left untreated, it’s not been unheard of for heat exhaustion to progress into heat stroke which can turn out to be fatal.
It’s for this reason that you should at least understand the symptoms of the condition, and be ready to spot if you or any of your colleagues has come down with it. Confusion, dizziness, muscle cramps and general weakness are just some of the signs that should be watched for and upon noticing any of these, it’s time to contact the emergency services. If you can know to act quickly, you could potentially save yours or someone else’s life.
Keep everything locked up
This final suggestion doesn’t necessarily involve your own personal safety, but it could nevertheless save lives. With the summer holidays almost upon us, the streets will soon be awash of children looking for something to do as they enjoy their break from school. Unfortunately, construction sites can be like magnets and its up to you and your team to at least secure them as best as you possibly can. Additionally, try and block off any access to the dangerous parts of a site, whether it is scaffolding or excavations, as these are again parts which seem to attract curious children as well.