How to Manage Workplace Heat Stress
Impact Of Heat Stress and How To Manage It
The human body is an amazing machine capable of achieving great things; however, it needs to be in perfect balance at all times. A change in temperature, for example, means the body needs to adapt to survive. Sometimes this is done smoothly – when at a higher room temperature, your body produces sweat and cools itself back down, but when you have extra factors affecting the body, such as mandatory protective gear that obstructs sweating, your body might overheat and collapse.
Heat Stress Can Damage Your Personnel and Your Business
As a business manager/supervisor, you depend on your employees to get the job done. By taking care of their health, safety, and well-being, you ensure they perform well and that your business grows steadily. If you have employees working outdoors, near industrial ovens and dryers, or involved in the process of melting or working with molten metals, they may be at risk of heat stress. While this situation is not too difficult to control or even avoid, if it’s not properly handled, it can cause serious damage to a person – and to a business.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stress
Heat stress usually starts as heavy sweating and/or heat rashes, but if not attended to it may lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, and in extreme cases individuals might develop heatstroke. This causes a rise in core body temperature, which may cause confusion, muscle spasms, and death. For your assistance, the following are signs that should not be ignored in a high heat-stress risk workplace.
◉ heavy sweating
◉ tiredness and weakness
◉ dizziness or fainting
◉ slurred speech or blurred vision
◉ nausea and vomiting
◉ painful muscles cramps
Educating Workers About Heat Stress
Educate your workers so they understand how important it is they keep themselves hydrated and cooled off. Make sure they have a designated sheltered area where they can rest, cool down and rehydrate. If extreme heat conditions are unavoidable, equipping employees with specialised liquid or air-cooled clothing may be necessary.
When we suggest hydrating your worker, we mean with water or electrolyte replenishment drinks, do not offer caffeinated drinks, alcoholic drinks, and sweeteners, as these contribute to dehydration.
By providing your workers with information and resources to keep their bodies safe and hydrated, you ensure employee satisfaction and increased productivity all of which help in achieving business goals.
For more information on heat management, visit these websites:
Body Cooling Clothing & Gear
At Elliotts, our aim is to take care of you while you're at work and ensure you get home safely by providing a wide range of quality safety gear and personal protective equipment. To help protect you from heat stress if you're working in a hot environment, such as a foundry or outdoors under the sun, we offer you an array of body-cooling clothing and gear. Check them out HERE!