Tips to Keep Cool On Site This Summer

Working outside in hot weather can take its toll on your body – especially in the unforgiving Aussie summer.

Sure, there’s a job to be done, but slogging it out in the heat can cause more than just a sweat. It can also lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses that can result in serious health problems – and even death – if not treated correctly.

Keep yourself and your team cool and safe on the worksite with these tips for working outside in hot weather.

Work Around the Heat

If you can, avoid working during the hottest time of the day (around noon – 3pm) when the sun is high and mighty. Schedule your work for earlier in the morning and/or later in the arvo to reduce the risk of sunburn and heat exhaustion.

If you don’t have the flexibility to adjust your work hours, just tackle the most physically demanding tasks first so they’re done and dusted before the temperatures start skyrocketing.

Take Cover

Get out of the sun and work in the shade when possible. If you can’t work indoors, move some tasks to shaded areas wherever you can – whether it’s under trees or a worksite sunshade/sail. You might even like to rotate jobs among the team to give everyone a break from the sun at some stage.

Stay Hydrated



Experts say on a normal day, men should be drinking 2.6 litres (10 cups) of water and women should be drinking 2.1 litres (8 cups). And when you’re working outside in hot weather, you’ll need to drink even more than this to replace the water you’re losing through sweat.

Along with drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you should also steer clear of dehydrating fluids like alcohol and caffeine.

Avoid Manual Labour

If you don’t have to do it the hard way, don’t. Automated and remote-controlled equipment is your best mate on those hot and sweaty days where every little task seems to take up more of your energy than usual.

So don’t exert yourself on the tools if you can get the job done without as much – or any – manpower.

Wear Sun Protection

We know it’s hot, but don’t be tempted to wear a singlet in the sun. A loose long-sleeved shirt in a lightweight material is perfect for keeping cool while protecting yourself from sunburn. Don’t forget your sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

Know the Signs



Keep an eye on yourself and your crew for the warning signs of heat exhaustion. These include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartrate
  • Goose bumps on the skin.

If you experience these symptoms, get out of the heat and sun, drink some cold water and apply a cold, damp towel to the back of your neck.

With temperatures pushing 30°C and even 40°C around some parts of Australia during summer, make sure you take it easy and don’t push yourself too hard out there.

Heat exhaustion isn’t the only risk tradies face. Read up on other dangers in our infographic The Importance of Workplace Health and Safety for Tradies.

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