Docstoc

Heat Stress

Document Sample
Heat Stress Powered By Docstoc
					    Toolbox Talk - Heat Stress/Working In The Heat

      Heat stress occurs when the body’s core temperature exceeds its
      normal core temperature of approximately 37 degrees celsius.
      Factors that may influence the possible onset of heat stress include:

     Air temperature, weather conditions, humidity, sunlight, wind and
      temperature.
     Radiant heat
     Acclimatization
     Humidity
     Workload/activity level
     Clothing
     Artificial heat sources
     Air movement/velocity
     Personnel make up/fitness
     Alcohol or Drug abuse.

      High temperatures cause our bodies to react in order to regulate our
      core temperature in two main ways.

      i.    Dilation of blood vessels, this means that more of our blood is
            moved towards the surface of our skin so body heat can more
            easily escape.

      ii.   Sweating, where the flow of blood to the skin surface is not
            enough to control or core temperature sweating occurs. The
            evaporation of sweat is the main way that our body cools
            itself. Sweating results in water loss from our bodies so it is
            important that large quantities of water are drunk when
            working in warm or hot conditions, to prevent hydration from
            occurring.

      When the core temperature of our body increases, the following
      conditions may occur:

     Heat exhaustion – symptoms may include fatigue, headache,
      dizziness, nausea, vomiting/nausea, shortness of breath, glazed eyes,
      elevated heart rate, poor judgement and fainting.
     Heat cramps – may occur in the arms, legs, back and abdomen
      caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating.
     Heat stroke – occurs when the body’s temperature rises beyond 39C
      & 42C and the body stops sweating. This can then result in the body’s



                                                                         1
    Toolbox Talk - Heat Stress/Working In The Heat
      temperature rising to dangerously high levels resulting in tissue
      damage and in extreme cases death.
            Remember: Always be aware of the danger signs and symptoms of
                                    heat stress.

      Good planning and the assessment of the work environment can
      significantly reduce the risk of heat stress occurring. Identifying risk
      areas means that we can take action to minimise the risk to our
      health and safety.

      A number of both engineering and administrative control measures
      can be used to ensure a safe work environment is maintained.
      Working in the heat will not always be comfortable however, it is
      important to stay safe.

      Control measures include:

     Provide shade by shielding the sun’s rays
     Ensure good ventilation and air movement exists
     Cool drinking water is available
     Relocating where possible work away form particular hot areas.
     Allow adequate time to acclimatise after holidays, illness or injury or
      during sudden periods of hot weather. Acclimatisation usually take
      around 3 to 7 days.
     Monitoring weather patterns.
     Scheduling work away from known ‘hot spots’.
     Job rotation between personnel.
     Reschedule jobs to cooler times (night shift) if possible.

      Safe work practices include:

     Pace your work at a steady and sustainable pace.
     Taking work breaks in cooler areas where necessary.
      Note: Keep your supervisor informed.
     Wear the lightest clothing that will provide you with adequate
      protection for the job and against the sun.
     Drink plenty of water at regular intervals, before you get thirsty and
      too much fluid has already been lost through sweating.
     Discuss any ideas that will make working in the heat safer and easier
      with your supervisor.




                                                                            2
    Toolbox Talk - Heat Stress/Working In The Heat
     Position mechanical ventilation, blowers and fans to provide
      maximum cooling effect.
     Plan to do heavy work, such as moving tools and equipment, early in
      the day before it gets too hot.

1. 5. Reporting of Faults/Hazards

      Any problems associated with working in heat or any suggestions that
      may improve things should be raised and discussed with your
      supervisor. It is best to discuss and resolve issues before they
      become problems.




                                                                        3

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:15
posted:10/5/2010
language:English
pages:3
Description: safety