Heat Stress Awareness - Toolbox Talk


The heat stress is defined as a situation which occurs due to working in extremely hot environmental conditions. Working in a such condition in which our body stops regulating and maintaining adequate body temperature could lead to several adverse health effects. Staying in such an atmosphere can create life threatening conditions. It's crucial to be aware and know about the cause and effects as well as their control measures to save yourself.

There are several causes that probably lead to hate stress. These factor could be following:

  • Working in under direct sunlight
  • Working in high humidity areas
  • Working in enclosed area where possibility of poor ventilation
  • Having extra working load Etc

There are many adverse health effects that could arise if you are not prepared to protect yourself. Generally our body tries to maintain suitable and appropriate internal temperature but due to excessive external heat our body fails to regulate body temperature.

These are the adverse health effects due to heat stress.
  • Heat Rash
It's early symptoms of regular exposure with the high temperature when our sweat glands get blocked.
  • Heat Cramps 
Often it has been noticed that the people are drinking excessive water once they come from outside or after doing the hard work which is one of the worst practices. This practice will create other health issues such as severe pain and cramps in body parts, weakness, dizziness, fainting etc.
  • Heat Exhaustion
It occurs when our body lose maximum body fluids (water) and salt from the body or else we can feel complete dehydration of our body in a form of excessive sweating. Therefore it's very important to be aware about symptoms of heat exhaustion to prevent unexpected events.
  • Heat Stroke
It's the most serious condition where victims need to seek immediate medical assistance. In this condition body temperature quickly jumps up at the maximum level where the internal cooling mechanism will fail to regulate the normal temperature. Because of that the person might lead to unconsciousness or even death if it's not treated immediately.

Common safety protocols to prevent any heat stress event.
  1. Carried out detailed risk assessment to consider all relevant factors that could probably lead to heat stress.
  2. Organise and deliver mandatory trainings to aware them about safe practices, sign and symptoms and their response during in case of any emergency.
  3. Acclimatization of worker is one of the best practice.
  4. Frequently drink plenty water and fluids ( 200 to 250 ml water after every 15 to 20 minutes if you are working in hot weather)
  5. Increase the number of short breaks.
  6. Follow buddy system ( alone work shall be prohibited at all )
  7. Plan your work to do it in the early morning or evening instead of performing during the afternoon.
  8. Avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine.
  9. Ensure appropriate ventilation as required by area.
  10. Always monitor coworker to recognize sign and symptoms relate to heat stress
  11. Last but not least, always do your urine test to know colour sign of dehydration.

Quiz and Assessment

1. You are working in hot weather, you should drink water.
  1. 100 ml
  2. 250 ml
  3. 400 ml

Ans : 2

2. What are the signs and Symptoms of heat stress?

  1. No sweating
  2. Headache
  3. High body temperature
  4. All of the above

Ans : 4

3. Which one is the best practice to start working in the hot weather?

  1. Acclimatization
  2. Whole day work
  3. None of  the above

Ans : 1

4. You need to do a regulated test to check your hydration level.

  1. Blood test
  2. Check urine colour

  1. None of the above

Ans : 2

5. In case of any serious condition you should seek help from.

  1. Call centre
  2. Security department
  3. Fire department
  4. Medical services/ clinic

Ans: 4

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