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					Heat Stress at the Worksite its more than Hot Work
Is heat stress a concern in your workplace your supervisor many have to answer these questions: Has anyone been affected by heat in your workplace? Are fans needed to keep workers cool? Is work done in direct sunlight? Are there heat-producing processes or equipment in the workplace? Do workers wear extra clothing/protective equipment that can make them hot (e.g., overalls, respirators, hard hats, etc.)? 6. Have workers ever expressed concern? Your employers obligation Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have a duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes developing policies and procedures to protect workers in hot environments due to hot processes or hot weather. These values are based on preventing the core temperatures of workers who are not acclimatized from rising above 38°C. The longer you work in a hot environment, says the ministry, the better your body becomes at adjusting to the heat. This process is called “acclimatization.” If you are ill or away from work for a week or so you can lose your acclimatization. To become acclimatized, spend 20% of the first day in hot working conditions, and increase your time by 20% each subsequent day. Heat stress control measures 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Engineering controls
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reduce the physical demands of work task through mechanical assistance (e.g., hoists, lift– tables) control heat at its source with insulating and reflective barriers (e.g., insulate furnace walls) exhaust hot air and steam produced by operations reduce temperature and humidity through air cooling provide cool, shaded work areas provide air-conditioned rest areas increase air movement if temperature is less than 35°C (e.g., use fans)

2. Administrative controls
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assess the demands of all jobs and have monitoring and control strategies in place for hot days and hot workplaces increase the frequency and length of rest breaks schedule strenuous jobs for cooler times of the day provide cool drinking water near workers and remind them to drink a cup about every 20 minutes caution workers to avoid direct sunlight assign additional workers or slow down the pace of work make sure everyone is properly acclimatized train workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress and start a buddy system since people are not likely to notice their own symptoms encourage pregnant workers and workers with a medical condition to discuss working in the heat with their physicians ensure first aid responders and an emergency response plan are in place in the event of a heat related illness investigate any heat-related incidents

3. Personal protective equipment
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wear light summer clothing to allow free air movement and sweat evaporation when working outdoors, wear light-coloured clothing in a high radiant heat situation, reflective clothing may help for very hot environments, consider air, water or ice-cooled insulated clothing take extra caution, such as monitoring heat strain, when wearing vapour barrier clothing. It can greatly increase the amount of heat stress on the body

Heat can be from the Sun , the Environment or by manmade heat sources, but it can and will affect workers safety and well being if not put in check.

SAFETY CHECK YOUR MATE


				
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posted:6/25/2009
language:English
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