For this 2013 summer edition of the Enhesa Flash, we delve into some of the health and safety requirements in place globally to protect human health during the hottest months of the year.
A consistent trend in emerging econo-mies is the rapid development of industrial and housing projects, even in very arid landscapes. In just over a decade, cities like Dubai have been raised from desert. The desire for accelerated construction processes has been largely met by techno-logical advances but has also led to in-creased human heat exposure in work-places. As an EHS Director, it is important to know whether your employees and the employees of your contractors are protect-ed from the heat, whatever hemisphere you happen to work in…
Working in the heat
Work involving excessive heat exposure is a serious health and safety hazard and can lead to various health problems, rang-ing from physical discomfort to life threatening conditions. In fact, every year, thou-sands of workers suffer from illnesses directly related to occupational heat exposure; some ending in fatalities.
Outdoor work which in-volves hot and humid condi-tions such as construction, mining, and oil and gas oper-ations, to name a few, are especially likely to cause heat-related illnesses, particularly when they involve heavy work tasks, re-quiring equipment and protective clothing.
However, it is important to recognize that such consequences are preventable if the correct precautions are taken. And yet, as is often the case when economic consider-ations are in play, not every country is imposing sufficient measures.