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Heat Stress Assessment

Heat Stress at the Workplace

HSE Australia conducts heat stress risk assessments to evaluate the risk of your employees being exposed to heat stress or thermal discomfort.

Thermal discomfort can lead to a variety of illnesses. Failure to monitor and manage thermal stress can lead to an increased risk of worker injury. A thorough thermal assessment, including a heat map, is advisable to mitigate risks.

Contact us to arrange a thermal assessment of your workplace.

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Heat Stress and Cold Stress are Themal Discomfort

Heat Stress Assessment at the workplace

A workplace should be mapped and monitored to ensure exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) don't result in thermal discomfort or harm. If the human body cannot maintain a core temparuture of 37 degrees Celsius, and the core temaprature rises above or far below that level, workers will experience physioligical and psychological stress. This is called Thermal Discomfort or Heat Stress.

HSE Australia conducts a comprehensive workplace thermal stress assessment to determine the risk of thermal-related illness. Assessments vary across industies and workplaces.

Some of the key risk factors we assess include:

Our highly trained and qualified occupational hygienists will assess personal and environmental factors in your workplace and provide recommendations to ensure your organisation meets occupational health and safety obligations. We can also help you develop a comprehensive thermal-comfort checklist for ongoing self-monitoring of your work environment.

Read the Article:

Why a Heat Stress Assessment should be part of your Risk Assessment Process. ​

Our Occupational Hygiene team around Dr. Michael Tkaczuk has put together a comprehensive article about Themal Discomfort Audit as part of your Risk Assessment Process. Please have a look and if you are concerned about extensive heat at your workplace please contact us.

Heat Stress & Thermal Discomfort Assessment

HSE Australia offers a wide range of Occupational Hygiene and Risk Management Services in the area of Thermal Discomfort Assessment (Heat Stress) . Contact us for an individual quote.

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Frequently asked Questions

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What is heat stress in the workplace?

The human body tries to maintain a core body temperature of 37°C. If the body temperature increases past this level, people can experience psychological and physiological stress. This is called heat stress or thermal discomfort. Extreme heat is dangerous to workers' health and can prove fatal if left unmanaged. Even when employees are provided with the correct clothing, trained, and provided adequate breaks in climatised rooms, prolonged exposure can have long-term effects.

Immediate effects of heat stress include:

  • lack of concentration
  • clumsiness, dizziness or lightheaded
  • muscle weakness and cramps
  • exhaustion
  • vomiting or nausea
  • pale, clammy skin
  • rapid, shallow breathing and pulse
  • heat rashes.

Prolonged exposure can result in heat stroke and can worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Sources of heat stress in a workplace.

Typical sources of heat stress in a workplace include:

  • radiating heat from machinery
  • geothermal radiation (mining)
  • exposure to extreme weather conditions
  • physically demanding work
  • body heat trapped by wearing PPE

What is cold stress in the workplace?

As with extreme heat, extremely cold temperatures at work are dangerous to workers' health and can be fatal.

Immediate effects of cold stress include:

  • numbness and shivering
  • red skin
  • lack of coordination
  • fatigue
  • blue skin
  • slow pulse and breathing

Prolonged exposure can result in hypothermia, frostbite injury or chilblains

Sources of cold stress in a workplace.

Typical sources of cold stress in a workplace include:

  • prolonged work in cool storage rooms
  • exposure to extreme weather conditions
  • incorrect clothing when working in cold environments

How can a business reduce thermal stress for workers?

Businesses can reduce the risk of harm from extreme temperatures by:

  • assessing the work site for risks of thermal stress before work starts
  • identifying if a worker is fit to work in thermally challenging conditions and work environments
  • establishing a heat/cold illness prevention program
  • providing education and training for workers to be made aware of the risks of thermal stress occurring during their day-to-day work 
  • allowing workers to acclimatise to their work area or environment
  • reducing exposure by allowing plenty of breaks and rotating staff
  • supplying appropriate clothing for the work environment and easy access to cold water or heated drinks

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