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TUC issues safety warning for outdoor workers during heatwave

28 June 2018

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for employers to make sure outdoor workers are protected from the sun as temperatures soar across the UK.

With temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country, the TUC said employers should make sure any workers working outside have enough breaks and water during the heatwave.

The TUC has also warned that workers who are outside for lengthy periods in high temperatures are at risk of sunstroke, sunburn and even skin cancer.

And working in hot weather can also lead to dehydration, tiredness, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness.

The heat can also be dangerous for workers whose jobs involve driving, warns the TUC, as any driver suffering from fatigue is a risk to themselves and other people.

Bosses should provide cars, vans or lorries with air conditioning. Or if a driver is going to be stuck in traffic for any length of time, avoid driving in very hot weather, suggests the TUC.

“We all love to see the sunshine. But working outdoors in sweltering conditions can be unbearable and dangerous,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

“Bosses must ensure their staff are protected with regular breaks, lots of fluids, plenty of sunscreen and the right protective clothing.

“Anyone worried about their working conditions should join a union, it’s the best way to stay safe at work and make sure you are represented and your voice heard,” added Ms O’Grady.

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