Working in the heat – can be dangerous.

Australia is known for its beautiful weather and hot summers. As much as we all love this, we are well aware of the effects that working outside on a hot day can have on performance and safety.

In this blog we would like to go over some tips to help reduce the risk of heat stress and manage hydration on hot summer days.

We recommend thinking about the following techniques before scaffolding on a hot day:

  • Make sure you are hydrated BEFORE you begin your work day.
  • Maintain hydration DURING your work day.
  • Understand the effects that any pre-existing medical conditions or personal habits could have on your susceptibility to heat stress or illness (e.g. overweight, alcohol consumption).
  • Carry a drink bottle at all times – the recommended fluid consumption is 125ml every 10 minutes.
  • Consume healthy food at regular meal breaks in order to maintain energy and replace electrolytes.
  • Understand the effects of caffeine on hydration levels.
  • Having an adequate amount of sleep and rest is extremely important. Fatigue can be fatal.

It is very important to educate yourself and your co-workers about hydration management and heat stress. Being aware of the signs of dehydration and sun stroke is critical.

Thirst is a relatively late yet important sign of dehydration, the body has likely already reached a 2% dehydration and is a warning signal that sufficient fluids are not being consumed.  Other symptoms can include reduced cognitive functions (concentration, alertness and reaction times) increased heart rate, and loss of strength and/or stamina.

Dehydration at levels as low as 3% have a significant impact on abilities, being comparable to blowing 0.08 on a breathalyser.

Dehydration at 4% creates confusion and ruins co-ordination and reaction times.

Dehydration at 15% will result in Death.

Here at Aluminium Access we want all of our employees and others to be safe while working on scaffold. So whilst you are on the job, stay hydrated and be aware of the dangers that come with working in the heat, especially at heights.