Study: PPE protects workers against fatigue

While the days are getting shorter and the nights are growing colder, the risk of heat-related illnesses striking mine workers remains.

A new whitepaper by Kimberly Clark, Burning out: How fighting fatigue has left workers under stress, has shown the connection between fatigue and heat stress, and has urged companies to ensure the safety of their workers.

“Workers become fatigued when exposed to harsh environments, long working hours and unforgiving deadlines,” the whitepaper says.

“In the last few years Australia has seen some of its highest temperatures on record. If left unchecked, working in hot and humid conditions can be hazardous and potentially fatal.”

Providing workers with the right protection from fatigue and heat can make a significant difference to performance and efficiency, according to Kimberly Clark.

“Heat can build up in the worker’s body and cause symptoms that range from headaches and dizziness to seizures, convulsions and death,” the whitepaper says.

“In particular, workers who are required to wear semipermeable or impermeable protective clothing and/or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that severely impedes heat exchanges through evaporation can be at high risk for heat related illness.

“In order for employers to effectively protect their employees from heat stress, investments are increasingly being made into creating light and easy-to-wear coveralls.”

Kimberly Clark says coveralls are not a “style statement” but are a vital piece of protective gear.

“The type of clothing worn is an important factor in controlling heat exposure,” the whitepaper says.

“This fact applies particularly to the members of mine rescue teams. In order to successfully control heat stress mining companies must develop overall heat stress management plans designed to control the specific conditions present at the mine site.

“There are several steps that people in these roles can take to remove or reduce the sources of heat where possible.

“One of the major ways in which this can be done is to provide the right PPE to employees and workers.”

To read the full paper, click here.


Contact KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL







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