Heat stress and strain

Heat stress is not just a potential problem in the hot working conditions found in industries such as smelting and glassmaking.  Any work involving the use of chemical protective clothing can present challenges, especially where the clothing isn’t vapour-permeable.

A reduced risk of heat-related injuries and ill-health including collapse, increased sickness absence, or reduced physical or mental performance.  This is increasingly important with an ageing workforce and an increase in the level of health problems such as diabetes that can impair heat tolerance and increase the risk of ill-health. We can provide advice and guidance to industrial clients on the assessment and management of the risk of heat stress including:

  • the application and interpretation of international standards;
  • development of safe systems of work;
  • physiological monitoring of heat strain;
  • practical measures to reduce or control any risks.

We have experience of work on thermal stress stretching back over 30 years, such as the preparation of permissible work times for Mines Rescue Workers to accompany the introduction of new closed-circuit breathing apparatus, and the preparation and subsequent evaluation of a code of practice for work in hot mines.

Studies have included:

  • a series of major projects on firefighters leading to a code of practice for firefighters training in hot environments;
  • consultancy services to some individual brigades in assessing the risk of heat stress, for example to instructors during hot fire training;
  • the measurement of heat strain in workers in the glass-making and other hot industries;
  • work for London Underground Ltd on the issue of modelling and assessing heat strain in passengers in underground trains.

 

If you have an enquiry about our ergonomics and human factors services please send us an email at ergonomics.humanfactors@iom-world.org

Alternatively telephone Dr Joanne Crawford on 0131 449 8037

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