Working Outside During The Summer: How To Beat The Heat?

Working outside during the summer can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions! Here’s some ways you can keep cool:

The Basics of Working Outside

Let’s get started with the advice you’ve probably heard before so we can move onto some valuable new tips! 

  • Make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water a day in high temperatures, it’s a good idea to get a 2 litre water bottle. Remember that even if it seems refreshing, pop doesn’t actually rehydrate you. 
  • Avoid salty food which can dehydrate you (and fast food). 
  • Of course, always wear sun lotion, at least factor 30. Reapply it regularly.
  • Wear sunglasses when / where not required to wear safety glasses. Your safety hard hat should do as good a job protecting you from the sun as it does anything else. 
  • Take regular breaks in the shade if possible.

Cooling Down Your Body Temperature

Start by cooling down your pulse points (wrists & neck are easiest to access) and your armpits. You can take anything cold and apply it to the vein to gradually cool down your temperature. It’s a good idea to bring a cooler for your water bottles and some cold packs. If somewhere safe to do so, removing your shoes & socks could help cool you down, as well as any extra safety gear you are wearing. You can also use a cloth to sponge some water over your skin.

Look out for signs of Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion

It’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion in yourself and your team! Heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke if you don’t take steps to cool down. Heat stroke should be treated as an emergency! 

It’s a good idea to bring a thermometer to work with you to regularly check you don’t have a temperature. A healthy body temperature is between 36-37 degrees Celsius (97-99 Fahrenheit), more than 38 degrees (100F) often means a fever. 

Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Cramps in Arms, Legs & Stomach
  • Very Thirsty
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling or Being Sick
  • Becoming Pale & Clammy
  • Heat Rash
  • High Temperature
  • Excessive Sweating

Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Confusion
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Fast Breathing
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Hot Skin Without Sweat
  • Red-tinge to Skin
  • Seizures
  • Loss of Consciousness

Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke – NHS

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