Employers to Take Precautions against Heat Stroke

The Labour Department advises employers to take precautions to prevent heat stroke in hot or humid working environments as the weather is getting hot in Hong Kong.

Occupational Health Consultant, Dr Raymond Leung, said, “Construction workers, cleaning workers, kitchen workers and porters are more prone to heat stroke when working for long hours in such an environment if appropriate preventive measures have not been taken.”

Early symptoms of heat stroke include feeling thirsty, fatigue, nausea and headache. Later, victims may experience shortness of breath, rapid and weak pulse, dizziness, confusion or even loss of consciousness and convulsion, Leung said.

The following are precautions employers are advised to take:

  1. Arrange rotations for employees to work in other worksites within the shift to reduce exposure to the hot environment, or arrange rest breaks for them during very hot periods;
  2. Avoid working under direct sunlight and set up temporary sunshade wherever possible;
  3. Provide cool potable water for employees during work;
  4. Minimize physical demands by using tools or mechanical aids;
  5. Increase air flow by ventilation or air conditioning;
  6. Isolate heat generating facilities at the workplace use insulating materials to minimize heat dissipation to the other work areas;
  7. Provide information and training for employees on heat stroke such as preventive measures and first aid treatment.

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