Heat Stress

Heat exhaustion is a serious problem for heavy industry companies operating in hot climates, with each incident costing $3,500-$6,500 per day per worker affected. There is no individualised solution on the market for this problem yet.

The current solution to this problem is analogue wet bulb thermometers placed on set locations at sites of heavy industry operations. When a temperature threshold is breached, the entire site is shut down.

Best practice for establishing acceptable heat stress thresholds for workers on site have been set by the Australian Army and also based on wet bulb temperature. However, these thresholds are not possible to implement in practice ie. During summer in Darwin, Northern Australia, were these thresholds to be adhered to, entire company operations would have to be shut for the entire duration of the hot season.

Specifically, there are three levels of heat stress: ‘heat stress’ in the abstract usually refers to the lowest level of heat-stress (headaches, some dizziness), heat exhaustion is more serious and requires the sufferer to take a day or two off work to recover, heat stroke is the most serious and results in hospitalisation and usually irreversible brain damage with a 65% mortality rate for non-exercise induced incidents.