Thermal Hazard Controls

There are numerous factors to consider to minimise the risk of working in hot environments. Below are a range of OHS controls that can be used to minimise the incidence of dehydration and heat stress at work.

ELIMINATION & SUBSTITUTION

  • Scheduling work not to be performed in the hottest part of the day
  • Removal or substitution of objects from work environments that generate heat
  • Removal or substitution of objects from the work environment that reflect and radiate heat

ENGINEERING & ISOLATION

  • Use of fans and blowers to circulate air
  • Use of ventilation systems to help air flow around workers
  • Use of barriers to help workers keep distance from heat sources

ADMINISTRATIVE: HYDRATION & SHADE

  • Readily access to adequate water supply for all workers
  • Readily access to electrolytes and education on the correct use of electrolytes
  • Shaded and/or cool areas for workers to take break

ADMINISTRATIVE: EDUCATION

  • Training of workers to detect the signs of dehydration and heat stress in themselves and co-workers implementing work rest cycles where necessary
  • Pacing work of employees
  • Use of educational materials such as posters to reinforce dangers of heat stress
  • Use of urine check cards, so workers can monitor levels of dehydration by the colour of their urine regular toolbox sessions to remind workers of dangers of heat stress

PPE

  • Use of evaporative cooling PPE products such as cooling neck ties and hard hat inserts
  • Use of phase changing cooling PPE, such as ice vests