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Heat stress

With temperatures on the rise as we move into the warmer months of the year, it’s important to remember your health when it comes to coping with the heat.

The term “heat stress” refers to the overall heat burden on the body from the combination of the body heat generated while working, environmental sources (air temperature, humidity etc) and clothing requirements.

Most people feel comfortable when the air temperature is between 20°C and 27°C and when relative humidity ranges from 35 to 60%. When air temperature or humidity is higher, people feel uncomfortable.

Such situations do not cause harm as long as the body can adjust and cope with the additional heat however very hot environments can overwhelm the body’s coping mechanisms leading to a variety of serious and possibly fatal conditions.

So what can you do to cope if you feel like you’re overheating while cleaning?

Cleaning is a very physical job and you can easily start to feel the effects of heat and humidity when you get stuck into a cleaning job.  If you know the weather conditions are going to be tough or you’re finding yourself struggling with the heat, here are some tips for keeping your cool:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, open the windows or use air conditioning or fans while you go about the job.
  2. Stay hydrated.  This means having a water bottle available and drinking water throughout the day.  Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing.
  3. And finally, wear lightweight, comfortable clothing that keeps you cool.

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