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Scaffolding Heat Safety

Scaffold Safety | July 28, 2022

While summer is the busiest season for construction projects, it features several weather-related hazards that should be accounted for. While harsh sunlight and glare from reflections are highly hazardous for any project, intense heat is the most dangerous hazard that workers will need to contend with during summer. Without proper precautions, workers on scaffolding systems will be at an extremely high risk of injury or illness. As a leading provider of quality scaffold rentals and scaffold equipment sales, the team at United Scaffold Supply takes worker safety seriously. That is why we have provided some tips on scaffolding heat safety to help project managers understand the risks and keep their workers safe during heat waves and the height of summer.

Learn what PPE is required when working on scaffolding systems.

Hazards Associated with High Temperatures

Typical hazards associated with high temperatures include:

Heat Rash

Heat rash is the most common issue experienced in extremely hot working environments. Symptoms include red blotches, itchiness, and a prickling sensation on the skin when sweating.

Heat Cramps

If the body loses too much salt through excessive sweating, workers may experience heat cramps. Symptoms include muscle spasms and painful lumps within muscles, both of which can be debilitating.

Heat Exhaustion

When the body cannot send blood to the skin to reduce body temperature, workers will experience heat exhaustion. Symptoms include weakness, headaches, breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. If a worker experiences heat exhaustion, they will likely be out of commission for a least one day.

Heat Stroke

This dangerous hazard occurs when body temperatures rise to critical levels and the body can no longer cool itself. Symptoms include confusion, irrational behaviour, loss of consciousness, convulsions, lack of sweating, and abnormally high body temperatures. Heat stroke can be extremely debilitating and can cause workers to miss extended periods of work.

How to Minimize the Risk of Heat-Related Hazards

To minimize the risk of these hazards, supervisors should implement the following measures:

Provide Breaks in a Cool Environment

Scaffolding systems are exposed to direct sunlight and have little to no cover for workers. To ensure that workers do not overheat, be sure to provide them with regular breaks in a covered and cool environment that is less than 25°C.

Make Water Easily Accessible

Every worker should always have a water bottle with them and consume at least 250ml of water every half an hour. Workers should also have easy access to new bottles of water or a source to refill their bottles and be encouraged to do so every hour if needed.

Arrange Different Working Hours

It is best to avoid performing work in the middle of the day as temperatures are highest at this time. If possible, try to arrange to start work early in the morning or in the evening as temperatures will be significantly lower and the sunlight will not be as harsh.

To learn more about scaffold safety or to inquire about our scaffold rentals, get in touch with the team at United Scaffold Supply. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our products.