How to Keep Cool When Working in the Heat

Posted by Alloc8, Fri, Feb 7, 2020


Summers in Australia are infamously warm, no matter where you live. And for many Australians who work outdoors, the warmer temperatures can pose a severe threat of heat exhaustion. 

Heat exhaustion is a deadly illness, triggered not only by air temperature but also by other factors including the type of work, existing humidity levels and radiant heat from work surfaces. 

Keeping your workers safe in hot conditions is not only considerate but is mandated by workplace health and safety laws across the country.

What are the signs of heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion can exacerbate existing or underlying conditions, and it can also trigger a range of new symptoms. Workers who have any of the following symptoms while working in hot conditions should seek medical attention:

  • Feeling sick or nauseous
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness or inability to focus
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Convulsing

What are the risk factors for heat exhaustion?

It's not just high temperatures that can impact how warm a working environment is. Other factors include:

  • High humidity (either in the air or in the workplace - for example inside a mine or a laundry)
  • Low air movement
  • Incorrect heat protection including hats, sunglasses and proper workwear
  • Any existing health conditions in your workers
  • Radiant heat from the sun or working materials such as roofs, furnaces, or bitumen.

How to keep cool while working in the heat?

In addition to creating and implementing a heat management strategy, you might consider the following to help prevent heat exhaustion in your workplace: 

  • Rotate jobs, so that exposure to heat is minimal
  • Provide increased breaks 
  • Supply cold water and encourage staff to drink 200ml every 15-20 minutes
  • Provide a shaded and cool break area
  • Arrange work so that workers carry out the most labour-intensive tasks in the cooler parts of the day
  • Ensure you provide workers with sun protection gear, including sunscreen, hats, and long-sleeved cotton workwear. 

By implementing a heat management plan and taking these precautionary measures, you can be sure that your team will be protected against the elements while working the Summer months.

Alloc8 is an excellent communication tool for your workers. Need to cancel a job due to the weather? Send a push notification instantly to your team. Want to remind workers to bring a hat and wear light clothing? Send them a message. Book a demo today to see how Alloc8 can help you keep your workers up-to-date, safe, and protected from the heat. 

Topics: workplace safety, health and safety

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