Heat risk to employees

Employees and Heat Stress

Posted By stephanie hancox on 2018-04-09 13:06

With the summer fast approaching, you need to ensure your employees are protected against the implications brought with the summer heat.

Heat stress occurs when the body is no longer able to control its internal temperature. Unfortunately, it is not always easily noticeable when walking through a work area that there is a potential risk of heat stress. This is due to many factors which can contribute towards heat stress. These include :

  • The rate in which an individual is working
  • The clothing which an individual is wearing
  • Humidity.                                                                                                                                                                                 

A typical example of a heat stress situation

"Someone wearing protective clothing and performing heavy work in hot and humid conditions could be at risk of heat stress because sweat evaporation is restricted by the type of clothing and the humidity of the environment heat will be produced within the body due to the work rate and, if insufficient heat is lost, core body temperature will rise.

As core body temperature rises the body reacts by increasing the amount of sweat produced, which may lead to dehydration, heart rate also increases which puts additional strain on the body.

If the body is gaining more heat than it can lose the deep body temperature will continue to rise eventually it reaches a point when the body’s control mechanism itself starts to fail.  The symptoms will worsen the longer someone remains working in the same conditions. "                                                              http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/heatstress/index.htm 

What are the symptoms of heat stress?

  1.  Heat Rash
  2. Muscle Cramps
  3. Hard to concentrate
  4. Dehydration
  5. Unconsciousness
  6. Heat Exhaustion
  7. Heatstroke 

Review your risk assessment...

It is highly advised that a review of the risk assessment takes place, factors which should be considered includes the workload and pace that an employee is expected to complete their work and the working climate. Such as temperature, humidity, ventilation and the expected hazards of working near heat sources. 

For more information on how occupational health can help protect your employees give us a ring today. 

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