Stay cool while you work outside! It sure is a challenge. Working on the roof during these hot, sultry summer days is not always pleasant and it is certainly not always without risk. No matter how great and fun the summer and the sun are, protection is recommended.
Here are a number of tips to get through the summer safely!
The dangers of the sun
Although it often rains in Belgium, the sun is still strong enough to be a danger for our skin. Working in the sun without protection and direct exposure to UV radiation are bad for our skin, and may result in skin cancer. In the afternoon (between noon and 3 p.m.) the UV radiation is at its highest. Anyone working outside falls in the high-risk group.
IKO cares for your health and has listed some “safe-through-the-summer” tips for you!
- Check the weather forecast
Check the weather conditions before you set off to start your day. When the outside temperature is higher than your body temperature, it will be more difficult to cool down your body. Prepare for the weather and avoid unexpected surprises.
- Water, water and more water!
Survive in extreme heat? Make sure you stay hydrated. Our bodies are made up of more than 60% of water. Water helps our bodies to digest food, absorb nutrients and oxygen, etc. In other words, our bodies need water.
Standing outside a long time, directly in the sun’s UV radiation, makes you sweat. Although sweating is a good and natural way to regulate your body temperature, it may also result in dehydration when you don’t regularly drink water. Drinking enough fluids before, during and after every project is simply a must! Cheers!
- Use the shade
When you’re working on the roof there is usually not much shade to protect you. Try to take regular breaks in the shade, organise your consultation moments in the shade or try to briefly enjoy the air-conditioning. Make sure the air-conditioning is not too cold, otherwise the difference between the outside temperature and room temperature will be too great.
- Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen: Sunscreen is indispensable!
Sunscreen should be a part of your basic equipment! Protect every patch of skin that is not covered by clothing. One layer of sunscreen a day is not enough. It is best to apply it several times a day, preferably every 2 hours and more often when you sweat or are working in the wind.
Don’t hold back, apply generously! Use sunscreen when it is cloudy too! An overcast sky does not mean there is no UV radiation.
Experts are unable to agree what kind of SPF (sun protection factor) is best. Some experts say an SPF in excess of 50 does not result in much extra benefit, while others say that it protects your skin better against burning and skin cancer than lower factors.
What you need to remember is that every sunscreen loses its SPF (sun protection factor) over time (after application). In other words, reapply sunscreen every few hours.
- Special clothing
Protect your head with a hat or cap and your eyes with UV absorbing sunglasses. Did you know special UV protective clothing exists? For summer outdoor work, there are even special safety caps that protect your head from falling material and the sun. Another tip! Work in an overall or long trousers and a shirt with long sleeves, particularly in the afternoon sun.
However, please enjoy the summer weather as much as you can. But don’t forget to use protection. Start the day early, stay hydrated, take several breaks and use sunscreen.
IKO wishes you a GREAT summer!