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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Summer is here - be heat smart and have a safe workplace

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, November 16, 2009

Not just in the workplace – but when you’re at home working in the heat can lead to physical discomfort without meaning you are at risk of any more serious condition developing. Be aware of the early warning signs of heat stress, and take appropriate action if you experience them – or if you observe another person who appears to be in difficulty.

Watch for "heat stress" which includes a number of related conditions, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. In all of these, the body is under stress through overheating. Heat stress is a life-threatening condition

1. Sweat

2. Faint

3. Die

Heat kills

Watch for these signs

  • Heat rashes – hives, sunburn
  • Heat cramps – painful muscle spasms, heavy sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness, exhaustion
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty in thinking clearly.

Once any of these signs is experienced or observed, stop work immediately.

If working outside, try to reduce the workload, seek shade, replace lost fluids (drink water – avoid coffee), rest frequently if the job cannot be put off until a cooler time of day.

Light, loose-fitting clothing will help, but if  personal protective clothing is necessary, don’t take it off.

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