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Working in the grab hire industry is hard, physical work. Your days are spent manoeuvring bulky machinery, mucking out and lifting, all of which require manual labour. Grab hire work is even more demanding and strenuous when working under extreme heat conditions.
The good news is that there are many things that both the employee and employer can do to make working conditions in the summer months more bearable - and ultimately safe.
Below we offer some hints and tips for both the employer and employee working in the grab hire industry, on how to keep you safe while working under the hot sun.
As we all know extreme and prolonged exposure to the sun can be harmful to the skin. Workers on a grab site who are exposed to these conditions can suffer from extreme sunburn, blisters and at worst are more susceptible to skin cancer. Damage is caused to the skin via UV rays when the skin has not been adequately protected via protective clothing and/or sun cream.
The sun poses many difficulties and dangers for those workers on the ground, but there are many safety measures and changes to working practices that can be done in order to protect workers.
It is highly advisable that shift patterns are restricted to the cooler times of the working day so that workers are less exposes to the heat of the sun. Rest breaks in the shade, regular access to water and the required removal of protective clothing and gloves when not actively working, will all help the worker to cool down more effectively.
Let's look more closely at what a grab site employer can do for their workers on site. Employers must provide freely accessible and free water while on site. Access to shaded areas of the site when needed, heat prevention training for all workers, regular rest breaks and access to emergency treatment if an accident occurs on site due to extreme heat conditions.
The best piece of advice for employees when working on any grab site is to know their body and the warning signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. If they become suddenly dry, have blurred vision, headaches and feel as if they are going to faint, then immediate action needs to be taken. Rest, fluids and cooling down all need to be administered. However, the real key here is to avoid this happening in the first place.
As an employee, you need to take care of your body and health when working in extreme heat. Take your breaks, drink water throughout your shift and wear sunscreen at all times.
One of the most important rules when working as a team on any grab hire site is to stay alerted and to watch out for your colleagues. If they appear to be suffering due to the heat or start to act in a strange manner, complaining of feeling dizzy or incoherent then you must assist them as quickly as possible and tell whoever is in charge on the site.
It is vital that both employees and employers follow the above hints and tips to ensure that everyone on the ground stays safe in the sun. Wear protective clothing, apply sun cream and drink plenty of fluids. Stay safe in the sun!