Stay Safe this Summer when Working in Quarries
Seasonal hazards that arise during the summer months should be accounted for and it is important to ensure that workers are protected and trained correctly in order to minimise health risks, especially in open environments such as quarries. Certora suggest following two major things to maximise summer safety:
1.Direct Sunlight and Temperature Control
Too much exposure to sunlight can be harmful and cause damage to skin, leading to sunburn and blistering. Therefore, it is important to ensure that workers take precautions to prevent this by wearing sun cream and personal protective equipment that minimises exposure, particularly if working at height.
In addition, the hot summer months can result in a worker experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stress. To prevent this, consider implementing some of the following tips:
- Schedule the most physical work to cooler times of the day
- Encourage workers to stay hydrated at all times
- More frequent rest breaks with access to shaded areas and cool drinking water
- Remove personal protective equipment during breaks to lower body temperature
- Educate workers on signs and prevention methods of heat exhaustion
Glare can also become an issue when working and operating machinery on sunny days, reducing visibility and increasing risk, so precautions should be taken to reduce the effects. This is of particular relevance to those working in limestone quarries, as the pale rock faces increase glare; therefore, sunglasses and/or goggles should always be worn to protect eyes and minimise the implications of glare.
2. Ground Conditions
With the change in weather comes a change in ground conditions too. To maximise safety in the summer carry out regular checks and reviews of site conditions, as the geology and stability of a quarry face can be affected by a change in weather and ground conditions. Dried out ground may result in the need to update protective barriers and systems on site.
Furthermore, the warm dry months can lead to an increase in dust creation and disturbance so safety procedures to control this should be followed. It can also be preferable to drill, particularly when using hand drills, in wetter conditions to reduce the amount of dust produced.
The risk to employees’ health can be significantly reduced during the summer months by providing the correct training to ensure that workers are equipped with all the appropriate skills and knowledge.
For more information on the training that we have to offer and guidance on safe working in quarries during the summer, contact Certora Training Solutions on 01246 386900