The Silent Killer: Heat Stress
Heat stress is a condition that can take many forms, depending on the severity of external and internal factors and, of course, the condition of the individual. The heating and cooling balance in the body depends on air temperature, humidity, radiant heat, physical activity, cooling and body adjustments.
Heat stress is an issue in many workplaces all year round. Heat stress not only affects employees working outdoors, but also those who are exposed to radiant heat or who come in direct physical contact with hot equipment as part of their job.
What the law says:
Employers have a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker. This includes developing policies and procedures to protect workers who have direct physical contact with hot equipment, are exposed to radiant heat sources, or are working in hot weather.
For compliance purposes, the Ministry of Labour recommends the current threshold limit value for heat stress and heat strain. These values are based on preventing unacclimatized workers’ core temperatures from rising above 38ºC.
How can heat stress affect your business?
A worker expending large amounts of physical energy in a hot and humid environment, without regular rest or water breaks may eventually experience heat exhaustion, fainting, heat stroke or heart attack. Long-term, this can lead to reproductive problems, heart and lung strain and other complications, and may even result in death. It is critical to address this hazard to protect employees and your business from lost productivity, reduced morale, as well as fines and penalties.
In this special report you will receive the following:
- 5 Reasons You Should Protect Workers From Heat Stress
- Is Fear of Heat Stress Valid Grounds for Refusing Work?
- Safety Clothing Can Expose Workers to the Risk of Heat Stress
- Answers to 7 FAQs About Heat Stress
- Heat Stress Policy
- Heat Stress Awareness Tools and much more…
It may not be top of mind during a worldwide pandemic, but prevention of heat stress in workers is as important as keeping them as safe as possible from COVID-19. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.