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By Jackie Edwards

March 22, 2018

 

Do you actively look for ways to protect your outdoor staff when working in the scorching heat, freezing cold or bitter wind? In 2014, more than 2,600 workers suffered from a heat related illness as a result of working outdoors. There are many benefits to people working in the fresh air, so long as their employer does all they can to protect their welfare and implement ways to keep workers safe.

In the sun and rain

Although, employers will likely have a team of outdoor workers, frequently, many of those will work alone with very little interaction with their boss or colleagues. In extreme weathers, it’s important to keep a regular check on these employees and ensure that they’re ok and coping with the environment in which they’re working in. Calling the member of staff to see if there’s anything you can provide them with to make their day easier is a brilliant health and safety consideration and a great way of showing you care.

Where possible, arrange for shelter for individuals to protect themselves in heavy downpours and on hot summer days. Providing sunscreen and protective clothing to protect your team member’s skin is also beneficial in preventing burns and skin cancer from developing - a disease expected to affect 1 in 5 Americans.

Thunder & lightening

On a day where a storm is forecast and lightning is expected, take steps to keep outdoor employees away from items and locations at risk of being struck by lightning and provide alternative indoor tasks for them to do. With more than 25 million lightning strikes in the US each year, it’s vital that organizations educate their staff on how to protect themselves should a storm suddenly occur and that they reassure workers that it’s okay for them to cease working and seek shelter in such cases.

Construction areas

Individuals working on a building site, such as a council car park or private driveway should always have protective eyewear available to use. It’s important that these glasses are scratch-resistant, have UV protection and have mirrored lenses to reduce glare and, ultimately, provide maximum protection to the eyes. Builders should always adhere to ADA guidelines and do all they can to construct safe and accessible driveways, car parks and similar amenities for the all members of society.

It’s inevitable that many companies will have a team of outdoor workers. As long as these businesses put their all into protecting these groups, then you can be sure you’re adhering to health and safety guidelines and legislation.