Hydration (maintaining correct levels of body fluids) is the MOST IMPORTANT personal factor for protection against heat illness.
The body relies on sweating to cool down and poor hydration or low levels of body fluids reduces of stops sweating and the body heats up and workers suffer from heat illness like heat exhaustion or heat strike.
The fluid intake required to maintain hydration is determined by the sweat rate which in turn is determined by the work rate and the conditions. Sweat rates vary considerably and increase with acclimatisation. The recommended fluid intakes for the average acclimatised worker are given in the TWL work zone table .
Control of Heat Stress for Workers
Working in extreme heat without proper controls can be fatal! Look out for yourself and your friends at work.
Summer in the UAE is very extreme and can lead to death from heat related illness. The key points to remember are:
- to drink at least 2 litres of water every 2-3 hours
- Add a little more salt to meals in summer to replace salt lost in sweat
- Slow down and rest in very hot weather conditions
- Get plenty of sleep and rest at night
- When you feel unwell tell your supervisor or the work clinic if you have one
Control of Heat Stress for Employers
Heat exposure and heat stroke can be fatal if proper controls are not implemented. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health of their workers and these responsibilities include: