As the temperature rises, it can be easy for your construction teams to ditch their personal protective equipment, but it is your responsibility to provide them with the correct construction site PPE.
For outdoor construction workers, the main dangers are UV exposure and overheating. Too much sunlight is harmful for your skin and can lead to short-term issues like sunburn and more serious, long-term effects like skin cancer. It is important to find PPE for your workers that is not only comfortable but also protects them from exposure to the sun.
Here you will find construction site PPE that meets the required regulations but is also perfect for the hot summer months.
When working on a busy construction site, there are always potential risks to a worker’s eyes. Items dropped from above, hazardous materials and dust, to name a few.
The summer can be a hazardous time with bright sunlight, making it difficult to see dangers. Eyes are at risk of being strained, which can lead to blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and headaches.
The Portwest Umbra Polarised Spectacle are a perfect example. These safety glasses will provide you with 99% UV light protection and eliminate reflective glare. This will make it easy for your workers to see and avoid potential hazards.
Many sites and/or tasks require your workers to wear safety goggles. You need to choose a design that offers you direct ventilation. This will prevent the goggles from fogging up and becoming a danger due to reduced visibility.
Falling objects and low ceilings are just two of the hazards that a hard hat protects workers from.
Hard hats are essential, but your workers may be tempted to work without them as they can cause overheating and sweating. You should provide hard hats that offer full UV protection, ventilation, a foam sweat band, and a retractable visor. This will reduce sweating whilst still keeping the wearer safe.
Some hard hats do not offer full UV protection, and it is important to find the ones that do. Speak to your staff about the dangers of exposure to sun and encourage them to wear sun cream and take regular breaks in the shade.
Cuts, abrasions, contamination, electric shocks, impact, hazardous chemicals, and temperature extremes are just some of the dangers that hands face on a construction site each day.
Specialised work gloves protect hands from injury when carrying heavy equipment, handling sharp tools and exposure to hot temperatures.
However, when you wear heavy duty gloves in the summer, they can make your skin hot and sweaty. This can lead to irritation and issues such as blisters. A solution to this problem would be to wear separate inner gloves that are made of cotton. This will reduce the impact of the coarser material on the skin.
You need to find gloves for your staff that offer excellent ventilation and a breathable, seamless liner. Having these gloves will prevent their hands from overheating and you worker will be more likely to keep them on in the sun.
Besides the summer construction site PPE, you will need to provide for workers on your team. There are some extra precautions you can take to reduce the risk of illness and injury caused by the sun and heat.
Regular water breaks prevent dehydration, and it is important to make sure teams are rotated so one group does not spend all day in the sun. This will not only keep them safe but also raise morale as your team will appreciate the effort you have made.
You can hold team meetings to highlight serious health risks UV exposure can cause and offer suggestions on how everyone can stay safe when working in the sun. When you take the time to do this, it reinforces a positive safety culture and shows your staff than you care about their well-being.
Do not ignore any potential symptoms like difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headaches, sweating, or vomiting, as these can be a sign that someone is experiencing dehydration or heat stress.
After you have found suitable PPE, it will ensure that you meet all the health and safety measures. However, there are clothing options that could reduce the risk of UV exposure and overheating.
Lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants protect the skin from UV, especially if they are dark. These will reduce health issues for workers, even if they would rather be in a t-shirt and shorts.