With more stable weather conditions and fewer chances of rain, you may think that Spring and Summer are the best time of year to Work at Height, however, this is not always the case, as high temperatures are can cause heat stroke and fatigue for operatives when exposed to the heat for long periods of time. Long term exposure to high temperatures can also cause roofing structures to weaken and roofing materials to ‘melt’ which can lead to a slip, trip or fall hazard for any employees or contractors at work.
The solution? Consider using lighter, preferably white roofing materials as this can help toward lowering your maintenance costs as opposed to black, brighter materials absorb less heat. This works very well in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy, and with global climates set to increase in heat over the coming decades, it might be time to consider this for your building to ensure maximum health and safety for your Work at Height personnel.
High temperatures can have numerous negative effects on the human body and, when Working at Height for long lengths of time it is important to be prepared! Work at height will often occur in an unshaded area such as a roof and where sun stroke/heat stroke are a high risk, it is vital to take necessary precautions. Take a look at our top tips for working in warmer conditions:
- Clothing – match your clothing to the type of weather, on high sun days ensure you have protective wear for your eyes, face, and any exposed skin. White clothing is also more likely to deflect the heat of the sun from your body, meaning the likelihood of heatstroke is decreased.
- Stay Hydrated – running on liquids, the human body relies on being hydrated, ensure you have regular breaks to drink enough water
- Protection – although it may not feel ‘hot enough’ to wear sun cream, UV rays cause harsh sunburn on unprotected skin, so it is imperative to apply this regularly or, wear long pants and sleeves to avoid excessive exposure
- Shade – don’t let your body over heat! Take short breaks every so often to go inside or, to a shaded area