Attention Construction Workers: Reduce Risk of Heat Stress

(Photo: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Construction workers, like all outdoor workers are at a higher risk of suffering from heat related stress especially when they work with heat generating machinery or in badly ventilated areas. Working in these conditions can adversely affect the health and safety of construction workers.

Some of the factors that increase the risk of adverse heat effects are air temperature, air movement, humidity and level of work activity.

The type of clothing and footwear used can also affect workers heat stress. Workers in this state need to continuously replace fluids lost to prevent dehydration. They should also take breaks in a cool, shaded area and wear loose clothing. Employers should ensure workers have access to cool drinking water on site.

Ventilate the work area to provide a good flow of cool air, especially when the work processes generate heat, such as the machinery used in construction does.

Wear sunscreen when working outdoors to protect yourself from skin cancer. If possible wear a hat that can protect you from the sun. Also wear protective clothing to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Remove these clothing items when you rest in the shade to encourage heat loss.