Over the last few months we’ve had cold weather and battled the beast from the east.

We previously posted regarding working in cold weather, a postman delivering post in the snow whilst wearing shorts, the employers responsibility regards to their employees working in cold weather.

Now spring finally seems to have sprung, we now need to start considering employees working outside in the sunshine and hot weather.

First step is to carry out a risk assessment, identifying employees working outside and how they may be at risk.

Working in the sun

Too much sunlight is harmful to skin. It can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering and skin ageing and in the long term can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK.

A tan is a sign that the skin has been damaged. The damage is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight.

Along with the affects of sun may have on the skin we also need to consider hydration, if employees could become dehydrated through working outside in the sunshine and heat and the affects dehydration could have on their health.

If it’s identified employees health may be at risk from working outside in the sun control measures may include:

– Providing sun screen protection with a high spf

– Access to drinking water

– Shaded area for where rest breaks can be taken

– Provide shading for the work area

– Introduce more frequent breaks

– Schedule work where possible to take place during cooler parts of the day

– Provide information to employees in how to recognise health affects from working in the sun.

– Information to employees on how they can identify if they are hydrayted.

Please click on this link to download the  Guys and St.Thomas NHS foundation urine colour chart.

If you need help, advice or assistance in assessing risk to employees working in the sun, contact Sky Blue Safety Ltd 01933 812234, neil@skybluesafety.co.uk or via our contact form.