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Rules to protect workers from extreme heat

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) recently launched an awareness campaign aimed at workers exposed to sunlight and high temperatures, disseminating a Guide for workplaces with high temperatures.

Climate change has been an increasing general concern; however, with the arrival of summer, we observe a natural rise in temperatures, sun exposure, and their increasingly harmful effects.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) recently launched an awareness campaign aimed at workers exposed to sunlight and high temperatures, disseminating a Guide for workplaces with high temperatures.

This guide also includes first aid measures for various scenarios, namely, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, cramps, or even heat rash, among others.

Heat stress is a risk for workers in all sectors of activity, and its severity depends on the workplace, as well as individual characteristics such as age, weight, and physical condition (health history).

It is important to act preventively by adopting healthy eating habits, maintaining high levels of hydration, and protecting the skin from the sun’s rays.

Sun protection should ideally be done through shade or appropriate clothing. If this is not possible, as a last resort, high-efficiency sunscreen, such as factor 50, should be used. Another measure could be adjusting the work schedule to avoid sun exposure and heat.

Exposure to sunlight causes slow burns that are not always detected in time to avoid skin damage, but their consequence is prolonged over time, causing significant discomfort and the likelihood of future skin complications, such as skin cancer.

With temperatures rising, we remember the film Napo in… It’s so hot that you can’t work! which, in its usual humorous style, gives us an idea of what should be done to control heat stress in the workplace and protect workers, namely by adjusting work schedules, increasing hydration, protecting from sunlight, etc.

Also, (re)view the Pratical Guide: Hight Temperatures by EU-OSH with practical guidelines on how to manage the risks associated with working in heat exposure conditions.

In addition to being available in Portuguese, you can also find it here in other languages.

Protect the most important asset of Mota-Engil ATIV, protect yourself!