Summer Sun and Safety

The British Summer has arrived meaning people up and down the country in the hospitality sector will have long days working outside. From waiting on tables in beer gardens to running attractions or even undertaking maintenance work – more Brits will be outside!

Below, are our top tips to staying safe in the British sun:

  • Avoid midday rays – UV levels are typically highest between 11am and 3pm. If possible, plan tasks so this peak time is avoided.
  • Stay shady – if setting up a stall or workstation, seek out shade to protect the team. Remember though, the sun moves during the day, and you may not always be in the shade. If using gazebos or shelters, check that the material is UPF rated. The protection factor of material does reduce over time, so replace covers if they are starting to wear.
  • Cover up – loose clothing is your best friend when it’s sunny. Extra tip: wear tops that cover your shoulders and materials with a close weave as they are more effective at blocking the sun rays. When choosing team uniform, think about how safe and comfortable it is to wear when spending time outside.
  • Get ahead, get a hat – a wide brim hat will provide protection to the face and neck. They can also look pretty dapper!
  • Rotate and rest – ensure your team are taking regular breaks and rehydrating – have drinking water readily available for them. Look to rotate team on tasks, reducing the time they are working in the sun.
  • Layer it on – shade, covering up and reducing time in the sun are the best ways of reducing the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. However, working in the sun cannot be avoided sometimes. Using sunscreen reduces but does not remove the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Your team should be encouraged to use sunscreen, ensuring that it is over SPF 15, has a 4- or 5-star rating for UV protection and is in date. Remind your team to apply sunscreen liberally and re-apply throughout the day.
  • Risk assess, always – A risk assessment must be undertaken, identifying significant hazards and the controls required to reduce the risk. Your team must be trained on the control measures and the actions they must take.
  • Train the team – Make sure the team know the risks from working in the sun. Training can be included in your induction, part of your pre-shift briefing on particularly sunny days and supported with posters on the notice board.

Enjoy the sun and make sure you can check out our other blogs here.

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Rob Easton

Blogs, Health & Safety

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