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Spotting Signs Of Heat Injury In Construction Sites

Spotting Signs Of Heat Injury In Construction Sites

Nov 29 2023 at 10:02

Heat injury, more commonly known as occupational heat stress, is one safety hazard present in many industrial workplaces such as construction sites. Due to increased time under the sun and the humidity of a tropical climate, there is a significant risk of workers in such conditions developing occupational heat stress.

Occupational heat stress can develop into more serious conditions such as heat stroke, hyperthermia, and heat cramps if left unchecked. As occupational heat stress often builds slowly and accumulates into serious injuries, it can be hard to spot signs and symptoms related to heat stress.

Below, we share a few of the more obvious signs of heat injury that you can spot in order to maintain employee well-being and health. As most of these signs are not externally visible, it can help immensely to check on your employees to gain a clear understanding of their current condition.



When working under hot and humid conditions, the body loses water at an increased rate in order to maintain a healthy internal temperature. Due to the resulting dehydration and overheating, workers may start to develop a headache.

As the blood vessels in the brain narrow from dehydration, blood flow to the brain is compromised, leading to heat-induced headaches that act as a sign the worker has to cool down before continuing their work.



Occupational heat stress almost always leads to dehydration. One of the key symptoms that a worker is dehydrated and overheated is complaints of dizziness, sometimes coupled with nausea and vomiting. These are all natural body responses to heat stress and dehydration and should not be taken lightly.


Cold and clammy skin

Skin that is cold and clammy to the touch is another sign of occupational heat stress. Should you notice any employee with skin cold and clammy to the touch, do remove them from direct sun and allow them to seek shelter and water.

Usually caused by blood flowing to the core in order to offer increased protection to the vital organs, cold and clammy skin is one of the more obvious signs that a worker is undergoing occupational heat stress or heat injury.


In the event of heat injury

As soon as signs of heat injury are spotted, the worker should be made to stop work and move to a cool, sheltered area. Attempts to cool down the worker should be made with wet towels, cold water, or isotonic drinks.

If the worker shows no signs of recovery or faints, medical attention must be sought immediately. If not addressed, heat injury can lead to serious or even fatal consequences.



Occupational heat stress is a major hazard to safety in construction sites, and it is important for employers, managers, and foremen to spot the signs before they develop into full-blown conditions.

Courses in occupational first aid, such as OFA training in Singapore, can benefit the health and well-being of your employees greatly. Wong Fong Academy is one vendor offering quality courses aimed at improving workplace safety and business productivity. With over 12 years of experience providing upskilling and self-upgrading opportunities to businesses big and small, we pride ourselves on the innovative and technologically advanced methods of transferring knowledge to those with a passion for lifelong learning and continued education.