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Working In A Heatwave: How To Protect Yourself From Heatstroke


Although most of us enjoy getting our Vitamin D fix, too much can be harmful to your health. From heatstroke and exhaustion to melanoma – it’s never a good idea to spend too long outside in the sun.


It’s recommended that you spend no more than 10-15 minutes outside in the sun without protection. However, for those that work outside, this is easier said than done.

What jobs put you most at risk of sun over-exposure?

If your job requires you to spend long periods of time outside, you could be at risk. Some of the most common outdoor jobs include farm or construction workers, gardeners and landscapers or even public service workers.

Interestingly, office workers aren’t in the clear just yet. As regular 9-5 workers tend to be indoors most of the time, bursts of sun at weekends can be just as dangerous.

What can happen when a person is in the sun all day?

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), heatstroke is the most serious consequence of spending too long in the sun. Other injuries could include heat exhaustion, heart cramps or even heat rashes.

Heat can also increase the risk of injury due to things such as dizziness, or poor grip due to sweaty palms.

How do I prevent heatstroke?

The good news is that you can take some small steps to ensure you’re protected from the heat. Here are our 5 tips on how to minimize your risk.

Wear appropriate clothing

Whilst it may seem obvious, your clothing choice can have a huge impact on your safety. Try to choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Where possible, wear clothing with sleeves to protect your arms and shoulders from sunburn.

Plan activity around the cooler parts of the day

If you can, it’s wise to avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day, particularly around noon when the sun is at its highest.

Stay hydrated

In hot weather, it’s essential you stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Specialists recommend drinking 8-10 glasses of water on a hot day. You should also look to avoid any dehydrating liquids such as tea, coffee, alcohol, or any caffeinated beverages.

Pace yourself

In warmer weather, you should be careful to pace yourself properly. Be sure to keep taking regular breaks when needed and try to move at a steady pace.

Wear the right heat protective equipment

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to wear the correct heat protection equipment. From a good quality SPF, to UV protective clothing and UV safety glasses, it’s important you have the right gear. Luckily, there are loads of great options on the market for you to choose from – so there’s no excuse not to take sun protection seriously!

Although spending too long in the sun can be dangerous, the good news is that it’s relatively straightforward to protect yourself. Whilst a career change may not be practical, by taking a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of heatstroke.