So far 2017 in Australia has experienced extreme heatwaves with the mercury hitting 48deg celcius in some towns. During this kind of extreme heat, it is important the employers & employees take caution against heat stress.
The effects of heat stress cascade, it’s important to know what the early signs look like.
Early signs of heat stress to look out for include:
- And heavy sweating
Anyone showing these symptoms should be taken to a cool place, rested and given cold drinks (no alcohol).
The prevent heat illness modify workloads to minimise the risk. This may include:
- Rescheduling work so that hot tasks are performed during the cooler part of the day
- Doing the work at a different location
- Wearing light clothing that still provided adequate protection
- Reducing the time spent doing hot tasks (eg. job rotation)
- Arranging for more workers to do the job
- Providing extra rest breaks in a cool area
- Using mechanical aids to reduce physical exertion
- Drink 500ml of water every couple of hours
Plan ahead and ensure all necessary measures for preventing heat illness can be implemented when hot weather is predicted.