Battling heat stress in the workplace can be through prevention or treatment, and there is only one way to achieve them – by cooling down the body’s core temperature. It is important that both workers and employers should know about the proven cooling strategies that can be used. These methods are an integral part of a well-planned heat stress management program.
Strategy No. 1: Ice Ingestion
Ingesting crushed ice, or commonly known as slushies, is one of the effective ways of cooling down the body and preventing heat stress. It has been used in the mining and construction industries in the regions of Northern Australia. Ice has the ability to substantially lower core body temperature when ingested by acting as a heat sink inside the body. In fact, it has been tested on athletes back in 2003 to prove its superior cooling benefits. Furthermore, the trial also suggests that crushed ice ingestion improves endurance performance in hot conditions.
Strategy No. 2: Wearing Cooling Vests
Another effective way of preventing heat stress is by wearing cooling vests such as the one available at Thorzt. According to the research published on the International Journal of Occupational Safety, cooling vests are highly effective in minimizing heat stress. On average, it reduces sweating by 13% and lowers heart rate by 10 bpm. This is proven through the usage of fire fighters.
Strategy No. 3: Designating PPE-Free Sites
PPEs are important in a workplace wherein safety hazards are present. However, wearing thick clothing and equipment contributes to more heat generated and accumulated by the body. Thus, one of the effective ways to prevent heat stress is by designating a PPE-free area in or near the worksite. This will enable workers to rest and cool down there bodies from time to time. Remember that the area should be properly ventilated to ensure absorption of body heat.
Strategy No. 4: Proper Hydration
Dehydration is a contributing factor to heat stress. If a worker lost a lot of water and electrolytes due to continuous sweating, he won’t be able to cool down his body properly and he won’t be able to perform
well. Thus, one of the effective ways to counter heat stress is through proper hydration. However, drinking cold plain water won’t be enough as it won’t replace lost electrolytes. A chilled drink formulated to replace the lost salt from the body would do the job.
Make sure that these cooling strategies are included in your heat stress management plan. This will help you ensure that your employees are safe and productive all the time. For more information about heat stress in the workplace, don’t hesitate to contact us at Thorzt.