Protect Yourself From Heat Stress

Protect Yourself From Heat Stress

Although it is only Spring, Sydney has experienced some of the hottest dry Spring weather in a very long time. It is vital that we stay informed about how to reduce heat stress on the Construction site.

Hot weather is a significant challenge for building workers in the construction industry. Long exposure to high temperatures without preparation can lead to higher risks of  heat stress which leads to heat-related illnesses first and foremost including dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Building and project site conditions are never ideal. They are normally too hot, too cold, too windy, or too rainy. So, what ways  do you beat the heat?  It is essential to work smart in order to overcome the weather conditions that you deal with on a daily basis.

Here are some common sense tips that construction workers in the building industry can take to help them beat the summer heat and be prepared for the construction site.

1. Drink water.
Water is one of the most important liquids that you can drink when you are working and sweating. Water makes up approximately 60% of the human body. It has numerous different and important functions within the body. The more you sweat, the more important it becomes to replenish what was lost.

2. Drink frequently.
You may have heard the expression “If you wait to drink until you are thirsty, it is too late.”  It is recommended that workers drink every 15 to 20 minutes in order to maintain better levels of hydration.

heat stress
3. Avoid coffee and alcoholic drinks.
These substances are diuretics and result in the increased production of urine. This causes more fluids to leave the body than what are being absorbed. If you are working in hot weather conditions, it is best to avoid that cup of coffee before you start. It is also recomended that you avoid drinking beers the night before.

4. Set-up a shaded area on the project site.
Set up a rest area that is shaded with good ventilation. This should allow workers to get out of the hot sun. It is important to have a well-ventilated area for fresh air and air movement for cooling.

5. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
Wear light colored clothing that will reflect the sun’s rays. Also, clothing should breathe and be lightweight. A hat will also help prevent absorption of the sun’s rays by the scalp and head.

6. Change heavy workloads to cooler times of the day.
Heavy workloads and difficult tasks can create stress for the physical body, especially when the work is done during peak hours when temperatures are at their highest. If possible, it is best to organise heavy workloads so that they are completed at times when the temperatures are lower such as early morning.

Please note that you should check with your supervisor, foreman or manager before acting on these suggestions. There could be particular requirements on your job sites that may limit some of these suggestions. Also, these suggestions are not to be used as medical advice. If you are under a doctor’s care, talk with them about how to best take care of yourself on a construction site and how to prepare for hot weather.

As building and construction workers, we cannot completely control the environment that we work in. On most occasions we must adapt our surroundings and adjust our behaviours accordingly. By working smart and being aware of simple measures we can remain safe, we can all beat the heat!

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24 October 2017 Posted By : Marcelle Isaac 0 Comments
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