hot sun

3 huge summer health risks you should never underestimate

Posted on 20th Jul, 2018 | By Lorretta Tatham

Britain is officially in the grip of its hottest summer heatwave in five whole years. As you might imagine, this means that there can be all sorts of safety implications for your employees, especially if you’ve yet to take appropriate preventative measures. Recently on the blog we outlined some of the easiest ways to protect your staff from the worst of the summer heat, so this week we’re going a step further. Here are three of the most commonly underestimated summer health risks – and a few tips on how to protect your business from them!

1. Food poisoning

You might think that this is more relevant for a family barbecue than a workplace, but you might be surprised! Different employees can sometimes have different standards when it comes to food hygiene. For mouldy bread, for example, one person might throw it away without a second thought, whereas another might simply remove the mould with a knife and happily use the rest to make sandwiches as planned. Normally, these different standards might be broadly accepted by the rest of the staff, but summer (and in heatwaves especially), they need to become a lot stricter!

illness at work

Warm weather encourages bacteria to multiply exponentially, and it shortens the lifespans of many foods. That’s to say nothing of the effect they have on meat that’s been accidentally left out on the side! Be very strict with any food left lying around the in kitchen, and impress the importance of this hygiene upon your employees. Food poisoning is rarely a life-threatening condition, but without going into specifics, it can obviously be very unpleasant for the person concerned!

2. Headaches and migraines

Spending hours in the sun at a time can often result in headaches, especially without sufficient eye protection (such as sunglasses). Naturally, this can make it an immediate hazard for outdoor workers. It’s not helped by the fact that strenuous exercise can make them worse!

Now, a regular headache is reasonably easy to clear simply with supermarket aspirin. However, it’s important for employees not to ignore them and ‘battle through’, as they can sometimes turn out to be symptoms of more serious problems. A regular headache can potentially develop into a migraine, which limits productivity (while obviously being incredibly painful for the employee in question). Headaches can also be a symptom of dehydration, so the first resort for any afflicted employee should always be to ensure they’re sufficiently hydrated. Speaking of which…

3. Waterborne conditions such as legionella


No matter your field or industry, hydration is always a top priority when the mercury rises. This means that your business’ water sources should be subject to more intense scrutiny than ever, as you and your employees will be more reliant on them than ever before. It’s worth having a professional inspection carried out when it comes to your water sources, to ensure that they’re not susceptible to waterborne diseases such as legionella. Infected water can cause a vast array of health issues in humans, including Legionnaires Disease, which can be amongst the most dangerous.

You can click the link above to read more about it, or alternatively you can book a place on our Legionella Awareness Training Course. This course aims to both educate delegates about the dangers of the disease, as well as provide helpful guidance on how to mitigate the risks. You can book your place through the link, or just give us a call on 01282 615517. We’re here to help!

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