As temperatures rise so does the risk of heat-induced illnesses. Here is what you need to know to keep your employees safe.
Working in extreme temperatures can overwhelm the body’s internal temperature controlling system. When the body is unable to cool itself, heat related stress can result. Heat stress can contribute to adverse health effects, which range in severity from discomfort to death. There are no specific standards for heat stress. However, employers are to provide protection to employees exposed to hazards in the workplace – this includes heat stress. While working in hot weather conditions, the human body may not be able to maintain a normal temperature just by sweating. If this happens, heat-related illnesses may occur.
How to Prevent It
The most serious heat related effect is heat stroke, which can be lethal. Employers should make sure employees working in intense heat and humidity take scheduled breaks. Emphasis on hydration is critical, water and sports drinks are recommended. Heat stress can be avoided by acclimation. Employees should be introduced to the work schedule slowly and trained accordingly. Employers should engineer controls, where possible, to make the work environment warmer or cooler as necessary.
This blog is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Content is provided by our professional consulting partner – Integrated Loss Control (ILC).