Avoiding heat-related illness - for workers

Commence work well hydrated to provide a buffer against the development of dehydration

There are a number of things workers can do to guard themselves against getting heat-related illness. They should:

  • commence work well hydrated to provide a buffer against the development of dehydration
  • eat regular meals and snacks to help replace salt and electrolytes lost through sweating
  • drink enough water while working to maintain adequate fluid replacement – at least a small cup (200ml) of cool (not cold) water every 15-20 minutes
  • never replace water with energy or caffeinated drinks – especially in hot weather
  • never drink alcohol or take drugs prior to, or at, work
  • never come to work in a hot environment with a hangover
  • do not take salt tablets (because the body needs more water to help it get rid of the salt – which will increase the risk of dehydration, as well as the risk of high blood pressure)
  • always use the mechanical aids provided (eg: fans, cooling units, trolleys, etc)
  • take their rest breaks in air conditioned areas (eg: site shed, vehicle cabin) or at the very minimum, in a shaded area, remove any unnecessary PPE (eg: aprons, gloves) and if necessary, ingest crushed ice and/or apply ice towels.
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