When working outdoors the weather can have
an effect on an individual's effectiveness
and this is not readily managed using just
engineering controls. In these circumstances
some of the most effective ways of managing
these environments is by introducing some simple
administrative controls for example:
Ensure the personal protective equipment issued
Provision of mobile facilities for warming
up, and encourage the drinking of warm fluids
such as soup or hot chocolate
Introduce more frequent rest breaks
Can work be delayed and undertaken at warmer
times of the year without compromising on safety
Educate workers about recognising the early
symptoms of cold stress.
Reschedule work to cooler times of the day
Provide more frequent rest breaks and introduce
shading to rest areas
Provide free access to cool drinking water
Introduce shading in areas where individuals
Encourage the removal of personal protective
equipment when resting to help encourage heat
Educate workers about recognising the early
symptoms of heat stress
Working in the sun
What is the problem?
Too much sunlight is harmful to your skin.
A tan is a sign that the skin has been damaged.
The damage is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays
Who is at risk?
If work keeps you outdoors for a long time
your skin could be exposed to more sun than
is healthy for you. Outdoor workers that could
be at risk include farm or construction workers,
market gardeners, outdoor activity workers
and some public service workers. You should
take particular care if you have:
fair or freckled skin that doesn’t tan,
or goes red or burns before it tans;
red or fair hair and light coloured eyes;
a large number of moles.
What are the harmful effects?
In the short term, even mild reddening of
the skin from sun exposure is a sign of damage.
Sunburn can blister the skin and make it peel.
Longer term problems can arise. Too much sun
speeds up ageing of the skin, making it leathery,
mottled and wrinkled. The most serious effect
is an increased chance of developing skin cancer.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Keep your top on (ordinary clothing made from
close woven fabric, such as long sleeved workshirt
and jeans stops most UV)
Wear a hat with a brim or a flap that covers
the ears and the back of the neck.
Stay in the shade whenever possible, during
your breaks and especially at lunch time.
Use a high factor sunscreen of at least SPF15
on any exposed skin.
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Check your skin regularly for any unusual
moles or spots. See a doctor promptly if you
find anything that is changing in shape, size
or colour, itching or bleeding.
Contains public sector information published
by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed
under the Open Government Licence v1.0.
Update on the historic heating issues at the
North Neighbourhood Office and Waverley Court
North Neighbourhood Office
This site has suffered from winter heating
problems over a number of years. In the past
portable gas heating has been brought in. This
is not a good solution because it introduces
a number of hazards into the workplace for
example fumes from the heaters and the obvious
problems in storing flammable materials on
This year the Services for Communities
part of the building was sorted prior to the
winter starting. The Health and Social Care
side was not however. The Trade Unions would
view a Safety issue affecting a site as a “Workplace” issue
rather than as a “Department” issue.
This raises an issue which needs to be taken
up with management as it is not acceptable
for disputes over budgets or lines of responsibility
to leave workers being treated differently
in one workplace depending on what their line
of management is.
The heating in the Health and Social Care
part of the building is currently being upgraded
but this is leaving workers in a situation
where they are on the site while the work is
being carried out and still exposed to the
cold, problems introduced by the work and the
effects of the portable heating.
Heating problems are not new and problems
with cold in the Courtyard area have been particularly
problematic. Safety Reps at this site have
been active over the winter exploring problems
and solutions with management. A workplace
Safety Committee has been requested. Management
by law have three months to comply with this
request. Having a workplace Safety Committee
gives Safety Reps a structure to work within
and makes it easier to tackle Safety issues
Neither site has had its problems fully resolved
but things are improving. The improvements
are not as quick as anyone would wish but they
are starting to happen.
No improvement is possible however without
workers involving their stewards and Safety
Reps where there is a problem, without committed
stewards and Safety Reps working together and
without Trade Unions working together where
there is more than one Trade Union on the site.
Further updates will follow on both issues.
Campus Sites Thermal Comfort
Meeting with FM 24 August 2011
Attended by Dave McConnell
(Trade Union), Graeme Leslie (FM) & Frank Donoghue
249 High Street
FM proposed closing the "top door"
(which is currently the main public entrance)
to the public and retaining it for staff and
disabled access only.
There would be a need to change
the way that the customer waiting area is organised
and Cash Collection management would need to
FD and GL agreed to discuss the
issue with local management should they require
FD and GL also reported that once
the asbestos has been removed from the boiler
area then extra sensors could be fitted so that
temperature control could be more closely applied
to each area of the workplace.
This is a relatively new building
and was originally designed so that the building
should regulate its own temperature.
Sensors measure the temperature
and the regulatory system automatically adjusts
heating and cooling systems according to the
Since it opened a number of changes
have been made that affect the temperature inside
There are chill beams fitted
into ceilings and floor vents which are both
designed to lower the temperature. Since the
building opened however desks have been moved.
This means that some chill beams are now directly
above where workers sit and some floor vents
are now directly under desks. This means that
the ventilation creates a draught that directly
Some of the floor vents have been
closed. This means that the same volume of air
is pushed through fewer vents making the draught
more powerful. Floor vents can be moved but
decisions on desk moves have to be made first
otherwise the vents are at risk of being moved
The third floor is subject to
solar gain. When the building was first opened
workers were not able to open windows; only
FM could do this. Because the building is open
plan, opening a window in one part might solve
the heat issue there but introduce a draught
that is experienced by workers in another part
of the building (particularly where a number
of windows are open). We need to establish when
and why the decision to allow staff to open
windows was made and establish if it was correct.
This sounds like a very controlling
way of working but because the system regulates
building temperature it is not. Local solutions
create wider problems so a building approach
is more likely to work.
Work also requires to be done
on the system that records temperatures and
adjusts the heating/cooling. It doesn't appear
to be responsive enough which means that the
adjustments are too slow which in turn means
that every problem worsens before it is tackled.
1 Cockburn Street
Sensors are to be relocated on
the first floor of this building and more radiators
are to be installed. Insulation will be installed
in the roof area as well. Summing Up Complaints
about temperature are still common on the campus
sites. I'm trying to take them up as best I
can but the refusal of management to allow time
for me to undertake Safety Duties makes this
It's important that workers continue
to report problems to FM and also as Health
and Safety issues and continue to keep me updated.
If any solutions are discussed or meetings arranged
please let me know so that I can try to stay
Branch Health and Safety Officer
April 2011: Management
in Finance are conducting a survey within the
Department to identify areas where there are
problems with temperatures in the working areas.
Members at Waverley Court and
Chesser House have long complained about both
excessive heat and cold at these sites.
Health and Safety professionals
prefer the term "Thermal Comfort" to temperature
in describing these issues.
The survey is supported by all
trade unions in Finance and Safety Reps for
all unions encourage members in Finance to complete
this survey to give an accurate picture of the
Your Safety Representatives are
aware that it is not only members in this Department
or on these sites that are affected and consultation
is going on between management and trade unions
to draft improved Corporate Guidance which will
hopefully be of benefit to members throughout
the City of Edinburgh Council.
on Thermal Comfort is on the Branch website.
It was drafted mainly with winter weather in
mind and will be updated once the Corporate
Guidance is out. The Branch Advice will be based
on the information available from the Health
and Safety Executive and will apply to non Council
Branch Health and Safety Officer