What causes heat stress?
Heat stress occurs when the body can’t cool itself adequately via sweating.
The key things that cause heat stress are:
- air temperature (how hot the air is around us)
- humidity (the moisture content of the air) in the outdoor environment or workplaces, such as laundries and mines
- amount of air movement or wind speed
- radiant temperature of surroundings such as the sun or other sources, including furnaces, ovens and working under a metal roof
- clothing being worn including protective clothing such as overalls, coveralls and suits worn during insecticide spraying
- type of the physical activity being done, and the length of time it is done for
- physical fitness of the worker (including whether a worker is used to working in a hot environment or has any pre-existing conditions – eg overweight, heart/circulatory diseases, skin diseases or use of certain medicines).