In the business environment, i.e. in the workplace, many workers are exposed to high temperatures. This can be extremely dangerous, especially in the summer when temperatures can be extremely high. In workplaces where exposure to high temperatures is unavoidable, it is vital to ensure safe conditions for workers to prevent illness, accidents, and even death.
What can cause heat illness?
Various occupational factors can be the cause of thermal illness. For example, heavy physical activity, warm/hot environmental conditions, lack of acclimatization, and clothing that retains heat can endanger a worker’s health. The danger of exposure to extreme heat can occur both indoors and outdoors. It can also happen at any time of the year, but the summer period is undoubtedly the most dangerous.
Workers may feel heat stroke symptoms are thirst, irritability, cramps, rash, and exhaustion.
If the symptoms are not responded to in time, heat stroke can occur, which can cause fainting, disorientation, confusion, and slurred speech.
List of most vulnerable industries
In this list, you can see which industries are most vulnerable or must pay special attention to heat protection. These are:
- bakeries, kitchens, and laundries – sources with internal devices for heat production
- electricity services – especially boiler rooms
- fire services
- ironworks, steel mills, and foundries
- production with hot local sources
- delivery services
- oil and gas wells
How to prevent the occurrence of heat diseases?
Adequate controls can prevent diseases. Authorities must carry out air conditioning systems to ensure the cooling and increased airflow. It is essential to reduce the workload and adjust the work schedule. Employers must train workers on the conditions that lead to heat stroke and how to react if it occurs.
Employees must educate workers about reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption and staying hydrated throughout the day. Employers must provide a source of water in the workplace. They should encourage workers to wear breathable clothing, wear extra protection such as sunglasses and hats, and apply sunscreen if they work outdoors. Indoors, it is critical to protect from direct sunlight, so we recommend placing curtains on the windows.
Workers who have just arrived at a particular workplace must not be immediately exposed to the highest temperatures to build tolerance and avoid shock. Also, workers on their own during the working day must ingest enough fluids, work shorter shifts, take breaks and react if they experience any symptoms.
Some workers are more susceptible to heat-sampled diseases than others. That is why an individual approach to each worker is necessary, such as measuring heart rate, body weight, and temperature and talking about the general condition to prevent unnecessary health problems.