Best Prectices OHS

Heat Stress Monitoring

Many jobs require working in a hot environment, both indoors and outdoors. Workers in such environments can experience heat related illnesses resulting from heat stress. These illnesses can range from heat rashes, heat exhaustion and finally heat stroke if the worker and the work environment are not monitored and controlled properly. The amount of heat stress experienced is influenced by environmental factors, working conditions and personal factors, which can compromise workers' health, safety and productivity. These factors / conditions include:

All factors combined can result in a possible rise in the body's core temperature leading to heat strain symptoms. It is very important that workers are trained to prevent heat stress and can recognise the early symptoms.

Best Practice OHS is highly experienced in performing heat stress assessments using Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) screening and the more sophisticated Predicted Heat Strain Index. Our experts assess the working environment and its potential to cause heat stress symptoms. In some cases it may also be necessary to use personal monitoring of body core temperature and heart rate. A heat stress management plan can be provided that includes engineering controls where feasible, work-rest regimes and personal protective equipment. Advice can be provided for an emergency action plan for heat stroke victims if this situation arises.

Training is essential for employees working in hot conditions. They must be aware of the hazards of working in the heat, how to recognize heat-related illnesses and procedures for first aid and medical attention as well as emergency procedures.

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