MSHA Warns About Heat Stress

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued an urgent reminder for mines and miners in regard to heat stress on the job, as well as ways to treat it when it does occur.

“Mining in hot work areas during summer can cause serious health issues for miners,” the agency said. “Everyone needs to recognize the hazards of heat stress and mine operators should provide heat-stress recognition training, monitoring, and personal protective equipment.”

MSHA pointed out that some symptoms of heat stress include hot, usually dry, red or spotted skin; a body temperature over 105˚F; a victim that is confused with a pale or flushed face; and muscle cramps from loss of sodium.

Some heat stress prevention ideas include providing cool drinking water near miners; encouraging workers to drink a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes; avoiding drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar; use of sunblockers, proper protective clothing and shade; using administrative controls to rotate miners on hot jobs; and scheduling heavy tasks during cooler times.

When treating symptoms, DO remove the miner from the hot area, apply cool, wet cloths, give water if the miner is awake, and seek medical attention if there is no improvement.

Do NOT apply ice directly to the skin or allow the miner to become so cold that shivering develops. Finally, never leave the miner alone.

A printable alert is available on MSHA’s website.

Related posts