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How to keep your business safe and employees healthy during the summer – BusinessWise

Most work injuries occur in June, July, and August. Andrew Wilkinson of Secure Safety Solutions offers some tips for keeping your employees safe during the summer.

School’s out and business owners are having to juggle fitting in our employees’ annual leave and their own holiday, and ensure that the business can still operate in a safe way.

Perhaps surprisingly, according to the HSE, most work injuries occur in June, July, and August.

It is therefore important for workers and employers to be vigilant about safety, especially during this time of year.

Summer means warm weather, holidays, and seasonal job opportunities for students. However, it also brings increased risks associated with high temperatures and busy schedules trying to juggle childcare or other activities. Common types of accidents that cause injuries to workers during the summer months include:

Car accidents – There is more traffic on the roads during the summer when people are travelling to and from summer activities and going on holiday. Those who employ drivers should also be aware that these summertime holidaymakers are also more likely to be distracted during the summertime.

Heat stroke – Construction workers, landscapers, groundskeepers, and other types of outdoor workers are at risk of heat exhaustion. They may become dehydrated, burned, suffer heat stroke, or develop skin cancer from continued exposure.

Slips, trips, and falls – Slip, trip and fall accidents remain one of the most common types of workplace accidents across all industries. During the summer months, employees may be required to work longer hours, creating more opportunities for this type of accident to occur.

So what can we do to make sure that we don’t open ourselves up to a higher risk of injury occurring leading to potential staff “lost time”, reduced productivity or the chance of HSE intervention?

Employers should take additional safety precautions to ensure their employees are protected during the hot summer months. Some of these safe practices include:

  • Allowing employees to acclimatise to the weather.
  • Educating employees about the risks of heat stress, heat-related illnesses, and safe work practices.
  • Encouraging employees to take frequent breaks.
  • Establishing an injury and illness prevention program.
  • Increasing ventilation either naturally or artificially through fans/air conditioning units.
  • Informing employees of the type of clothing and protection they should wear if working outside and consider temporarily relaxing the dress code where possible to allow for lighter clothing.
  • Ensure fresh water supply within the premises is working effectively or provide bottled water.
  • Adjust working patterns to avoid the hottest parts of the day where possible.

No matter the season, it’s important to always remember to look after your employee’s safety at work. Follow these workplace summer safety tips to help prevent accidents and injuries during the hot weather months.

Andrew Wilkinson is a member of the not-for-profit business referral group BusinessWise

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