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Heat Safety Reminders for Independent Contractors

We all need to take extra care this time of year especially those who work outside. As the good people at the cancer council would say….

SLIP! SLOP! SLAP! SEEK! SLIDE!

  • Use a SPF30 or higher sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat! The bigger the better.
  • Seek shade!
  • Slide on some sunglasses!
  • Drink more water!

When you spend a lot of time in the sun some helpful tips are to choose clothing that:

  • Covers as much skin as possible e.g. long sleeves and high necks/collars.
  • Is made from close weave materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton and linen.
  • Is dark in colour to absorb UV rays. White and lighter colours reflect UV onto skin.

More information about Sun Safety here.

Sun Smart accessories are available through retail outlets and online. Remember that these are also tax deductible products.

Dehydration

Typically you should be drinking at least 2L of water per day at a minimum! It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Take water with you to work!

The signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • A dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urination
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Avoid drinking alcohol, this will increase your risk of dehydration. We strongly advise that you do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol within 24 hours of working in the field as intoxication will make you more susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration.

Heat stroke

Have you heard of heat stroke? Some signs and symptoms include:

  • Very high body temperature
  • Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
  • High body temperature of 40°C or more
  • Flushed and dry skin
  • Pounding rapid pulse
  • Headache, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness and visual disturbances
  • Irritability and mental confusion which may progress to seizure and unconsciousness.

What should you do if you suspect you or someone may have heat stroke?

Immediately call 000 or transport the person to hospital. While waiting for paramedics to arrive initiate first aid:

  1. Follow DRSABCD.
  2. Apply cold packs or wrapped ice to the patient’s neck, groin and armpits.
  3. Cover the patient with a wet sheet.
  4. Ensure an ambulance has been called.
  5. Give water to the patient if they are fully conscious and able to swallow.
  6. Seek urgent medical attention if the patient has a seizure or becomes unconscious.

More information about first aid procedures here.

Safety in the field

As with any serious incident in the field, you must notify Certica ASAP on 1300 301 401 to lodge a report and complete an incident form.

We also request that you take some time to familiarize yourself again with the current Safe Work Procedure. It is important to be aware of the correct safety procedure while in the field.

Your health and safety is extremely important and it is necessary that you understand the importance of being safety ready and staying well-hydrated through the heat to prevent any avoidable injuries.

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