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Signoff: David Taylor

I POSITIVELY refuse to trot out the old cliché 'Phew! Wot a Scorcher', but sod it, I just have.

In no other country does everyone go mad when the seasons change. But here in the UK, every time the sun comes out we behave as if we've never seen it before.

This year is different, though. With temperatures soaring to a record 100 deg F in north Kent, even I have gone a bit doolally.

At least in the construction industry you can be excused for making a bit of a fuss. After all, most construction workers spend their time outside doing hard physical work.

I'm full of admiration for these fellows. I don't know how they keep going. In this heat, I can't even open the fridge for another beer without breaking out in a muck sweat.

It's not just the discomfort, either - the heat brings technical challenges.

Rolls of so-called 'torch-on' roofing membranes turn into giant liquorice sticks and concrete goes off so quickly that your in-situ concrete framed building ends up looking like it was designed by Frank Gehry (unless it was, in which case it ends up looking it was designed by Controlled Demolition).

But as we all know, the biggest downside of this phenomenal weather is the danger to health. Every year the health and safety machinery grinds into action to remind us to 'cover up', 'use sun-block' and 'keep your fat bottom to yourself'.

All sound advice, but there's a lot more you can do to stay safe and comfortable on site when the temperature reaches 100 degrees. Here's the official T4-2 Guide to Cool Construction, which I've just dreamed up specially:

Cover up.

People are feeling lazy and dullwitted at this time of year. They're off their guard so this is the perfect time to bury any mistakes or 'accounting errors' that might upset your boss (who's on holiday anyway).

Use Sun-block.

Good advice, though perhaps unnecessary, as a large proportion of the industry's site operatives already use the pages of this dense periodical to shield their countenances from harmful radiation. Has good sports coverage, too.

Keep your fat bottom to yourself.

Yes, I mean YOU.

Chill out.

Take a thermos of ice cubes to work with you. You can pop them in drinks or tuck your T-shirt into your shorts and simply tip them inside. Very effective after the initial shock.

Drink plenty of liquids (solids catch in the throat and could choke you).

Avoid alcohol, naturally, and ditto industrial solvents and cleaning fluids. Water's best - sorry!

Organise a fan club.

Issue your workmates with fans - the Spanish souvenir type with flamenco ladies on are ideal - or you can make your own out of stiff card. Break off into groups at regular intervals during the day and fan each other. Keeps you cool and helps foster mutual respect and a healthy team spirit.

Get a hat.

Wear a floppy wide-brimmed hat with a hanging flap at the back to protect your head, face and neck. Stick it on top of your mandatory hard-hat and look a right prat.

Ban the tan.

Don't peel off layers of clothing to get that bronzed look. You're more likely to get that 'wrapped in blankets' look when hyperthermia strikes. If you're sensitive to the sun, your best bet is to wear a black leather trench coat and rawhide chaps, both of which look great with the hat.

Call in sick then go and burn yourself to a frazzle on the beach.

Good luck.