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Here’s how tradespeople are beating the heat this year

clock 3 weeks ago
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On Tuesday 19th July 2022, the UK saw its hottest day in recorded history, according to the Met Office. We find out how UK tradespeople are beating the heat this summer.

The heat situation

On Tuesday 19th July 2022, the UK saw its hottest day in recorded history, according to the Met Office. Heathrow and St. James’ Park in London reached a temperature of 40.2C, and a record-breaking temperature of 40.3C was experienced by residents of Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The Met office also tells us that the UK sees an average of 2000 heat-related deaths every year. The main health risks posed by soaring temperatures can include dehydration, exhaustion, and overheating. It’s clear that in weather conditions like these, we need to be looking out for our health and safety above all else.

But completing your daily work in the sanctuary of an air-conditioned office isn’t a reality for everybody- especially for many tradespeople: the boots on the ground who keep this country going. 

We asked you- the tradespeople of the On The Tools community across Facebook and Instagram- to tell us how often they work outside. 52% of tradespeople on Facebook and 66% of tradespeople on Instagram told us that you’re working outside most of the time.

Outdoor Working in hot weather

According to the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice, the ideal workplace temperature for completing physical work is at least 13C. However, there is currently no UK law that recognises when a temperature is too hot (or cold) to work.

This might be changing, though. This year, a number of MPs have signed a motion for a legal upper working limit of 27C for those completing ‘strenuous work’. Furthermore, the GMB union recently called for a ‘too hot to work’ law which says workers should not have to contend with temperatures any higher than 25C.

We asked you to tell us whether your workplace or construction business implements any rules for when the weather gets too uncomfortable to work in. Only 22% of tradespeople on Instagram and 24% of tradespeople on Facebook told us that their workplace has rules in place to accommodate for hot weather working.

Recommendations for hot weather working

When outdoor working is unavoidable, it’s important to take extra precautions, like drinking more water, to help regulate your temperature and keep you healthy. We asked UK tradespeople on Facebook and Instagram to tell us how they stay cool when they’re outdoor working in hot weather.

“I take frozen beverages to work with me.”

“Water bottle in the freezer overnight.”

“Wearing a sunhat.”

“Work nights or evenings when you can.”

“Gel cooling pads in my boxers 👍”

“Sh*t tonne of suncream, and get loads of breaks.”

“Get your work finished early in the morning 😎”

“Ice lollies! We love the free lollies from our merchants.”

“Soak a shirt or a cap in cold water.”

“Wet paper towel under the hard hat does the trick!”

 

Find more advice for keeping cool in the hot weather from the Met Office here.
How do you cope when outdoor working in the hot weather? Does your business implement anything to help the Trade beat the heat? We want to hear about it.
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