We are in the middle of a summer season. Despite the fact that the Netherlands belongs to countries with a moderate climate, it is still likely that during a hot day the temperatures reach above 30 degrees Celsius. Working in the open in the summer season also carries the risk of exposure to UV rays that are hazardous to health. So what do you need to pay attention to when working in the Netherlands during the summer season?
Important! Working in the heat does not release you from the need to use personal protective equipment suitable for the workplace. Contact us if you have questions about VCA – safe work and required certificates.
Work in the sun
When working in open space, e.g. doing farming jobs, painting, construction works, road works – you should especially protect yourself against the harmful effects of solar radiation. People, especially those with a fair complexion, are exposed to skin cancer more extensively. UV rays increase this risk.
Many people mistake the increased risk of solar radiation with warm weather. The power of the sun can even be stronger on a cool but sunny day than on a warm cloudy day. Sun power is reported daily on the KNMI website. (Information in Dutch). When the sun’s power is 7 or more, it is prudent to use additional sun protection measures on that day.
Means of protection against solar radiation
If you want to protect yourself against the harmful effects of UV rays, it is worth using a few simple but effective methods:
- if possible, move the work to a shaded place,
- use clothing that protects against UV rays (not every material blocks harmful radiation),
- wear sunglasses,
- use creams with a UV filter,
- in any case, avoid working in the sun between 12 and 15, when the sun is the strongest in the Netherlands,
- in spite of hot days, wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers.
It is also recommended to control the skin for changes, such as irregular spots. In the event of the slightest doubt, it is recommended to contact a doctor to eliminate skin cancer suspicion.
Work in the heat
This year, several days have been recorded with hot temperatures reaching over 30 degrees. The Dutch Ministry of Labor gives guidance on safe and healthy work in the heat and sun:
- using ventilation to remove hot air,
- the use of sunscreen,
- avoiding or reducing intense physical effort or delaying it over time,
- reduction of working time and additional breaks at work (pauses in cold rooms),
- if possible, switch off heat generating devices,
- wearing airy and dry clothes, preferably made of cotton,
- maintaining the right level of hydration – drinking lots of fluids (without alcohol),
- making sure that the salinity in the body is maintained, adequate levels of electrolytes that we lose, for example, sweating,
- solar power control and UV protection if necessary.
For people working in the warmth an application has been prepared, thanks to which you can quickly get advice on the working climate. It contains tips on what you can do yourself and what an employer should do so that the work is done in safety. The application can be downloaded on the FNV website.