The 5 best ways to keep cool on site this Summer

Too much sun can lead to exhaustion or heatstroke. Obviously it’s important to drink plenty of water – but what else can you do to beat the heat on-site?

Everyone loves a bit of Summer sun, but let’s be honest, it’s best enjoyed in your leisure time. Scorching weather isn’t generally quite as welcome when you’re on site grafting all day. Working outside utilising powered access equipment hire machines is difficult at the best of times but with the hot Summer months getting ever closer, staying cool and comfortable is going to become a top priority. Last year was the warmest year on record in the 364-year CET series, and The Met Office has predicted that 2023 will be even hotter. As temperatures rise, it’s worth noting that maintaining a comfortable and safe working environment falls under an employer’s duty of care – so keeping colleagues safe and comfortable is a key priority for everyone.

So, to help you stay safe on the site this summer, here at Smiths Hire we’ve put together a list of ways to help you beat the heat and get the job done.

Stay hydrated

Let’s start with the obvious one: drinking water. When trying to work in the heat it’s important to stay hydrated. The human body is made up of around 60% water, so it’s really important to replenish any fluids you lose when you’re putting a shift in in the heat. Staying hydrated helps you to:

  • Regulate your body temperature
  • Supports your brain function and moods
  • Keeps your joints lubricated

From fatigue to muscle cramps and fainting, even mild dehydration can seriously impact the safety of on-site staff. Especially so when operating heavy or potentially dangerous equipment and power-tools. So it’s best not to skip out on that extra glass of water. The government recommends 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated. Your work site is legally required to provide you with clean and suitable drinking water under the CDM.

Make use of shady areas when possible

It might surprise you to learn that when the Met Office measures the temperature, its policy is to measure the temperature in the shade, rather than in direct sunlight. That means any temperature estimates you hear about for the day ahead are always conservative estimates, so always overestimate! Even more so if you’re wearing heavy boots, a helmet and the rest of your gear. If you work on or above tarmac or any other surface that absorbs heat, it’s going to feel even warmer (that’s why it always feels hotter in the city). So, with that in mind, we’d always recommend taking your breaks in the shade when possible, especially during the sunniest part of the day – 11am-3pm.

Take a cool box or cool bag to work with you

One of the drawbacks to working on-site is you don’t always have access to a fridge. Keeping your lunch and drinks in the van might work well throughout the winter months, but during the summer, food will start to warm up pretty quickly just like everything else. There’s nothing worse than a sandwich that’s been baking in the heat all day, and you don’t want to run the risk of getting ill after eating something that’s gone off.

Cool boxes and bags are a lightweight and easily portable solution. They’re ideal as they don’t take up much room and they maintain a constant temperature. Whether you’ve got a long drive to the job or you’re on site all day, a cool box/cool bag will help to keep you and your food feeling fresh. A great alternative is to provide top quality welfare facilities to your site so that the workers have a place to get in out of the sun during breaks, our welfare hire services include a variety of options from towable units (6-man / 10-man) as well as Eco welfare units and Welfare vans too, take a look at our range today.

Take a few extra breaks

As we touched on earlier, it’s important to take a few extra breaks when it’s really hot outside. It’s not exactly easy to cool off during a heatwave, and staying out in the sun for prolonged periods of time can actually be very dangerous. The government encourages staff to remove any PPE or work gear when resting to encourage heat loss and help you regulate your body temperature. Official guidance also suggests that you take more frequent rest breaks in the shade. Too much sunlight can make you feel faint or cause sunburn (and we all know how miserable it can be to have a bad sunburn).

Evaporative cooler machines and industrial fans

In exceptionally hot weather, measures like staying hydrated and extra breaks tend to be more or less essential, but they might not always be enough on their own. That’s where we come in. Here at Smiths Hire we offer a range of cooling products for hire that are sure to help you stay cool on site. This includes air conditioners and rapid fans designed to help you work comfortably. This means, that even in the summer heat, you can get the job done. Our models range from 3.5kW to 9.0kW we have got you covered, so even the summer heat can be manageable.

If you think your job could benefit from any of these products, then feel free to get in touch!

We’ve been providing quality equipment and tool hire services to the DIY and trade sectors for more than 50 years here at Smiths Hire, operating from 16 tool hire depots across the North West & Yorkshire, including several in major hubs like Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.

If you have any questions regarding any of our products and services, then feel free to give our team a call on 0333 034 2007.