Working Safely in Hot Conditions

Working Safely in Hot Conditions

Working Safely in Hot Conditions

Many jobs require working in hot environments whether that be outdoors our indoors. As we head into summer, preventing heat stress is an important area to focus on for workplace safety.

What is Heat Stress?

Heat stress or heat illness occurs when the body cannot properly cool itself due to factors such as type of work (work load, work rate), environment (temperature, humidity, amount of air flow) and the individual (age, level of fitness, level of hydration, clothing worn etc). Effects of heat stress can range from rashes, cramps, exhaustion to heat stroke.

Learn to recognise early symptoms of Heat Stress in yourself and co-workers

  • Lack of co-ordination and altered judgement
  • Excessive fatigue or lethargy
  • Feeling dizzy or nauseous
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability

Simple steps to help minimise the risk of heat stress

Below are some of the measures that can be taken:

  • Educate employees on heat stress and provide supervision and first aid
  • Wear loose fitting, lighter clothing – many workwear brands offer lighter weight fabric with high UV protection & venting features under arm and on the upper back
  • Wear protective equipment such as sunglasses, sunscreen, wide brim hats
  • Stay well hydrated and minimise caffeine
  • Schedule harder physical tasks for cooler parts of the day and take regular breaks

There are many resources available to assist in preventing heat stress. The above information is only intended to raise awareness and is not meant to be a definitive guide.