Top 10 Tips for Outdoor Worker Safety

Outdoor working is a year-round phenomenon, with agriculture and construction among those sectors that see many employees working outdoors during the colder months. Along with the changing of the seasons, there are a lot of additional risk factors to be considered if part or the majority of your workforce operates outdoors, especially when working long shifts.

Several million people work outside every year. A number of other employees in diverse occupations work outside, such as individuals providing utilities services or working in the hospitality sector.

There’s legislation in place to guarantee the rights of employees and responsibilities of employers when working outdoors.

Top 10 Tips for Outdoor Worker Safety

We also have compiled a list of the top 10 hints for outdoor worker safety…

1. Risk assessment

Identify issues and hazards and decide who is in danger, particularly in hot weather. Main factors include:

  • Working climate – including air temperature, movement, and proximity to heat sources when working.
  • Medical, genetic and other factors – a worker’s age and build may influence heat tolerance.

2. Training

Comprehensive training can help avoid issues with outdoor working. Employers should advise about the dangers of sun exposure, the risks of heat stress and give advice on sun protection and assessing the skin frequently for damage.

3. Sun cream

Under strong sunrays, skin may burn very quickly, possibly causing severe distress, sunstroke or even skin cancer. Sun cream should always be used by outdoor workers and reapplied according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Clothing

Outdoor workers should be counseled to keep covered up comfortably. It’s not unusual for employers to consider relaxing the usual dress code when it’s very hot outside, whilst hats should be used in relevant conditions to protect the head.

5. Hydration

Employers can encourage workers to keep well hydrated by providing cool water at work, combatting heat stress and overheating. Drinking water regularly will help prevent dehydration and is preferable to tea or coffee where hydration is concerned.

6. Shade

Periods from the sun can be encouraged by worker breaks in the shade where possible.

7. Allergies

Allergies can be triggered if workers are in an environment where they may suffer a reaction. Providing protective gear such as masks or eyeglasses in problem areas can help prevent issues and keep up productivity.

8. Keeping food cool

When workers bring their own food to work, it needs to be kept cool during warm conditions to prevent the possibility of illness and time off work resulting from contaminated food.

9. Work rate

Employers can schedule work so exposure to sunlight is minimised. Always know about the quantity of labour needed and the quantity of time required for it to be done.

10. Heat stress

Where possible, you should control workplace temperature inside. External employees need regular breaks, with access to color, and great hydration to decrease the possibility of heat stress.