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    PROTECTION AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURE

    HSE website highlights need for awareness of hazards, risk and precautions

    Contributors to the HSE Construction Discussion Forum have been discussing the prevention of damage to construction worker from the effects of “the sun”. In the unlikely event that we have a decent the summer it is worth highlighting the hazards, risks and precautions required to protect the construction workforce from effects of high temperature.

    The HSE website provides information on how the temperature of the work environment can affect people and advice on how to manage the risk. The issues and risk are summarised below with links to further detail.

    Issues and risks
    • Heat stress – the objective is to provide a systematic, approach to the decisions required to minimise or reduce the risk of heat stress in the workforce. Employees will also find the information useful in understanding why their employer is taking this approach;
    • Cold Stress – where HSE does not have specific guidance i.e. working in temperatures below 12°C, compliance with British/European Standards will ensure you are working to the minimum standard expected;
    • Dehydration – dehydration can seriously affect the ability of a person to function safely when under thermal stress. Dehydration effects can be minimised in heat stress situations by encouraging employees to frequently drink cool water in small volumes to compensate for losses due to sweating; and
    • Outdoor Working – when working outdoors the weather can have an effect on an individuals effectiveness and this is not readily managed using just engineering controls. In these circumstances some of the most effective ways of managing these environments is by introducing some simple administrative controls e.g. when working in the sun.

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