Message from Debs Harkins and Jackie Addison regarding the hot weather spells

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Message from Debs Harkins, Director of Public Health and Jackie Addison, Head of Human Resources and Occupational DevelopmentYou will be aware that the Met Office has an Amber Extreme heat warning in place until at least Tuesday, which is likely to affect everyone, not just those most vulnerable to extreme heat. There is a prediction that temperatures could reach up to 38 degrees in Halifax.This situation could lead to extreme issues for our health and care services, already under pressure because of the impact of the current Covid-19 wave. Travel companies are already advising not to travel on Tuesday in Yorkshire. In view of this we are now recommending that staff who can work at home should do so tomorrow. We are aware that there are a number of staff who work outside. For these staff we have restocked on safety sunglass and hats and all depots have stocks of sun cream and access to cold water. We have also produced this safety bulletin which went out to all managers yesterday and is in all depots today. Managers have been asked to consider the tasks that are planned for today and tomorrow and team leaders will be checking in on teams during the day. If you are unable to work from home, please familiarise yourselves with who the First Aiders are in your workplaces BEFORE they are required. If staff wish to take holiday (annual leave, flexi or lieu time) to cope with the situation, please ensure you seek approval from your managers and service permitting, flexibility will be given. Suez are have also bought their rounds forward to 6:30am starts, so they can finish them before the temperatures get too high, but will also be closely monitoring the situation throughout the day. As a reminder, the NHS website has lots of information on summer health advice. Families can also visit Healthier Together website for advice on keeping your children safe and healthy. The following graphic offers information on the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency, requiring urgent medical attention by calling 999. Heat exhaustion can usually be managed by colling down through:

  • moving to a cool place such as an air-conditioned building, the shade or in front of a fan
  • Drinking cool fluids – stick to water or sports drinks
  • Spraying or sponging your skin with cool water
  • Loosen clothing

Please stay safe over the coming days and if you have to go outside in the extreme heat, wear a sun hat and sunglasses and even in cooler weather, it’s important to put on plenty of suncream.