Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery

Make sure your staff are keeping cool

Make sure your staff are keeping cool

9th February 2016

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress.
Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam.

Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as farmers, construction workers, road workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, firefighters, bakery workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. Important ways to reduce heat exposure and the risk of heat-related illness include engineering controls, such as air conditioning and ventilation that make the work environment cooler, and work practices such as work/rest cycles, drinking water often, and providing an opportunity for workers to build up a level of tolerance to working in the heat.

A great way to effectively reduce the risk of heat stress is to both reduce the weight and increase the breathability of employees clothing. Check out some of the great lightweight garments Argyle have on offer.
Employers should include these prevention steps in worksite training and plans. Also, it’s important to know and look out for the symptoms of heat-related illness in yourself and others during hot weather.
Plan for an emergency and know what to do —acting quickly can save lives!

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