For workers that are required to wear fire and flame resistant clothing, summer can add extra strain to the workday, and in some cases, it can present health and safety risks.
As the temperatures are expected to rise again this summer, it can be very tempting to remove or alter workwear to try to cool down and avoid the heat. But for those with jobs where full flame and fire proof workwear is non-negotiable, it is crucial that workers are fully prepared for working in uncomfortable heat and ensure they are able to spot the symptoms of heat exhaustion so that the workplace can be as safe as possible all throughout the year.
The first, and arguably most important tip to staying safe whilst working in hot conditions is to stay hydrated. With a hot summer on the horizon, a large number of workers will be exposed to more intense heat, making it crucial to understand the importance of taking regular breaks and hydrating throughout the day.
Opt for lightwear clothing if possible
Generally, lightweight fabrics tend to allow more body heat to escape than heavier fabrics, meaning it can be an effective method for workers to keep cool. However, it’s important to stress that any lightwear clothing still must be flame and fireproof resistant. We have a wide range of different fabric weights so you can opt for a lighter fabric during the hot summer months. You can explore some of our lightweight fabric items here.
Make sure you are comfortable
Comfort is key, and there is no exception to this rule when it comes to staying cool in flame resistant clothing. Often, uncomfortable clothing characteristics can become highly noticeable when experiencing extreme heat. For example, fr clothing with rough fabrics may feel even more irritating to the skin and tight clothing items may stick to the skin and become wet or damp. Choosing an advanced fabric such as Nomex®, you can ensure ultimate comfort with advanced fabric technology, arming workers with the best protective and comfortable workwear during the hot summer months.
Avoid caffeine and large amounts of sugar
Irregular caffeine drinkers are advised to stay away from caffeinated drinks during hot weather as they add to dehydration. When trying to stay cool, other fluids such as water are best to ensure workers are staying hydrated.
Ensure breathable base layers
Another factor to consider is breathability of fabrics. Airflow is crucial and can make a huge difference in supporting the body’s natural cooling process. Materials such as cotton or canvas will allow air to circulate and help keep workers cool.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion to look out for
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Heat exhaustion is most likely to affect:
People with high blood pressure
Those working in hot environments
Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can help ensure your personal safety as well as others. Whilst symptoms can vary, there are a few that can be key in catching heat exhaustion early. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Cold, pale, and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting
Tiredness or weakness
Fainting or losing consciousness
Working in a hazardous industry, it’s crucial to stay protected even in uncomfortable weather conditions. As obvious as it may sound, protective clothing must be worn in order to be protected! It’s super important to resist the temptation to take off extra clothing or layers that are there for a worker’s safety.
Using the most technically advanced protective fabrics available, we have a large selection of flame resistant clothing such as flame and fire retardant overalls and flame retardant trousers that are perfect for those that work with direct flames or explosive hazards. Make sure you’re prepared for the hot weather!