As we are currently experiencing very high temperatures in NI, employers should be aware of the increased risk of heat stress when staff are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
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.
Measures to control the temperature of clinical environments and enable staff to make behavioural adaptations to stay cool and well hydrated should be made. Staff may require more frequent breaks and the frequency of PPE changes may increase, with a resulting increase in demand.
Please click on the link below for advice and guidance from PHE and HSE:
- Personal Protective Equipment and Heat: Risk of heat stress - National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website
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