Workers are being reminded about the dangers of heat stress when working on WA mine sites.
|Date:||Wednesday, 17 February 2016|
It might start out with an increase in sweating, before feeling dizzy and suffering from cramps. Suddenly you’re experiencing extreme weakness, nausea, a headache and a weak rapid pulse.
Your body is under heat stress and without intervention you could be heading towards a heat stroke.
Department of Mines and Petroleum Mines Safety Director and State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the extremes of Western Australia’s climate means that heat stress is a significant risk that needs to be managed across the State’s mining operations.
“Supervisors and workers need to understand the risks and symptoms of heat stress. Workers should report any signs of heat stress to a supervisor,” Mr Chaplyn said.
“Heat stroke can cause permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs, and can even result in death.
“It is critical that urgent medical treatment is sought for anyone suspected of suffering heat-related illness.”
Some of the key risk factors for workers are:
- Lack of acclimatisation
- Low level of physical fitness
- Medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastroenteritis)
- Some medications
- Drug and alcohol use
- Age (especially workers older than 60)
The department has a guideline on the management and prevention of heat stress and links to further information on its website.