Reminding PDQ site teams to stay hyrdrated

Media Release
February 13, 2017

As record hot temperatures soar into the danger zone this weekend, Master Builders reminds outdoor workers they may risk heat stress.

Temperatures are expected to soar to 39 degrees on Sunday in Brisbane and up to 46 degrees as far west as Birdsville, which will make it more difficult for the body to cool itself enough to maintain a safe temperature leading to heat stress.

Last summer Queensland paramedics responded to more than double the monthly average number of callouts for heat-related illnesses, with a more than 30 per cent increase in callouts in the Brisbane Metropolitan area at peak times during January and February 2016, according to government statistics.

Master Builders workplace health, safety and environment services manager Stephanie Gaylard said heat-stress had the potential to be life-threatening. Symptoms vary from patient to patient but it is important to be aware of the warning signs and call 000 if there is a case of heat stress.

“A person suffering from heat exhaustion may include symptoms such as weakness, muscle cramps, heavy sweating, paleness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and fainting,” Ms Gaylard said.

“Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness that presents with symptoms similar to heat exhaustion but which may also include an extremely high body temperature; red, hot, dry skin, and possibly some clamminess; a rapid pulse; headache, slurred speech and confusion.”

Lay the person down in a cool spot, remove as much clothing as possible and give them water to drink if they can swallow.

You can also cool the person down with a cool shower, bath or sponge by covering them with a wet sheet.

If they become unconscious, place them on their side and follow the Emergency Medical Dispatcher’s instructions as they provide vital first aid advice until paramedics arrive.

Construction workers are often more susceptible to heat stress due to various risk factors in their daily environment including working in the sun which can lead to dehydration; working in areas with poor ventilation such as confined or ceiling spaces.

Practical measures to prevent heat stress include drinking enough water; take adequate rest to cool off; have a designated cool-down area; and wear light-weight and well-ventilated clothing.

Master Builders member, Paynter Dixon is working hard to keep their team hydrated as the heat rises.

Visit the Master Builders website and use our top tips to manage exposure to hot conditions.