PPE and Heat Stress Advice for Staff

Sunshine

Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in warm/hot environments increases the risk of heat stress. This occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion and lead to heat stroke if the person is unable to cool down.

Staff working in warm/hot conditions should make note of the following advice:

  • Take regular breaks, find somewhere cool if you can.
  • Make sure you are hydrated (checking your urine is an easy way of keeping an eye on your hydration levels – dark or strong-smelling urine is a sign that you should drink more fluids).
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stress and dehydration (thirst, dry mouth, dark or strong-smelling urine, urinating infrequently or in small amounts, inability to concentrate, muscle cramps, fainting). Don’t wait until you start to feel unwell before you take a break.
  • Use a buddy system with your team to look out for the signs of heat stress (eg confusion, looking pale or clammy, fast breathing) in each other.
  • Between shifts, try to stay cool as this will give your body a chance to recover.

If you do encounter any problems whilst on shift please make your line manager or AOC aware.

Published 26th June 2020

 

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