Windmill being refurbished

Advice on working outdoors in hot summer weather

Now the hot weather is here, whether you are a workman or someone enjoying a spot of gardening or DIY, it is important to adapt your working practices to suit the warmer, sunnier weather at this time of year.

We all love the sunny weather.

When the sun comes out, things and places just simply look “better” and we arguably feel happier, and we get essential nutrients and vitamins from a certain amount of exposure to the sun. However, and it’s a BIG however………

……. you are advised to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially if it is not a normal daily thing for you to see the sun, so advice especially important if you are a British or Irish resident and you may not be used to hot weather as enjoyable as it may be!!!!

Advice on working outdoors: Stay safe

It stand to reason that you would be best advised to avoid exposing your skin to the sun during the hottest part of the day, usually during the early afternoon, after lunch time, when the sun is at its strongest so save any work outside until later in the day, perhaps early evening.

Mediterranean countries often have the “siesta” time during then as it is just too hot and uncomfortable to venture outside during these times, in fact their day is built around it, although UK weather is maybe not so predictable as the Spanish!

People in these countries often adapt their working day to compensate for this, and do a lot of their work, especially outside tasks, during the morning, and then during the evening when the sun has lost some of its strength during the day.

A happy ending

In Spain, for example, it is common to water your garden and plants only in the early morning or late evening, because watering plants in the hottest part of the day will mean that the leaves and petals on plants can be scorched by the heat, and any water added to your plant or tree will quickly evaporate.

This also means that you conserve your water use as the sun will not evaporate the water you give to the plants. This is an excellent way to rearrange your day and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, which can have a variety of negative and sometimes dangerous effects.

You are also advised to drink lots of fluids such as water during hot days, and eat foods that contains salt, as the sun will make you sweat, which will dehydrate you, including the salt that is in your body.

Try and also avoid drinking alcohol in the hot sun, however tempting, or at least avoid excessive alcohol as this will dehydrate you further. Make sure also that you wear a good sun protection cream.

But above all of this, the most dangerous factor in working outside in the sun is the effect of the UV (Ultra violet) light emitted from the sun, on your skin.

Too much sun, over a surprisingly short period of time, can cause skin cancer, which in the early cases is treatable, but in latter stages, often can sadly lead to death.

Cancer research UK recently suggested:

  • Registration of non-melanoma skin cancer is incomplete. More than 81,600 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer were registered in 2006 but it is estimated that the actual number is at least 100,000 cases in the UK each year.
  • More than 10,400 cases of malignant melanoma were diagnosed in the UK in 2006.
  • Malignant melanoma incidence rates in Britain have more than quadrupled since the 1970s.

So as you can see, it is very important, especially when on holiday or working in hotter climates, to take some simple steps in the avoidance of becoming ill with skin cancer. It is also important to drink lots of liquids, preferably water, and eat salty foods, to keep you hydrated during the day.

Work safe and enjoy the weather…………

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