Safety Alert: Beat The Heat
Working in hot conditions (especially but not only when combined with humidity) can be a serious health threat to workers if the risks are not managed. Signal Mutual in the USA notes that “Every year dozens of workers die, and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions.” We are grateful to Signal Mutual for sharing this alert about the risks and basic preventive measures.
Signal also report that “Over the past three years, more than 70 heat stress-related claims have been reported within the Mutual. Several heat related illnesses (heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope (fainting), heat cramps, and heat rashes) can affect workers. Some of the symptoms are nonspecific, which means when a worker is performing physical labour in a warm environment, any unusual symptom can be a sign of overheating.”
We recognise that members operate in a range of climate conditions and may choose to take this note as an opportunity to have or schedule in a periodic review of their arrangements for protecting their workforce from exposure to potentially hazardous weather/environmental conditions.
We are grateful to Signal Mutual for providing details. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls. Learning content like this is highly valuable as it is based on real-world experience. We encourage everyone with publishable information about incidents to send it to us, so that we can raise awareness across the whole industry. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; sharing your insight could save a life or prevent injury.