Thermal stress


Heat stress

Heat is a physical contaminant involved in the development of thermoregulatory defenses when acts directly on the human body.


Heat in the workplace means, in many occassions, an inconvenience or discomfort. Despite this, workers exposed to extreme heat, both in indoor and outdoor environments, as well as workers who perform tasks with high energy consumption, may be subject to thermal stress heat. It can cause diseases such as heat stroke, exhaustion, syncope, cramps, fevers, rashes, and even death. Likewise, this agent can increment the risk of suffering indirect injuries, as a result of increased sweating of the hands, reduced vision due to fogging of glasses, dizziness or reduced brain function.


The presence of heat in the workplace can be conditioned by several factors, highlighting heat sources such as fixed and mobile machinery, humidity, ventilation, the existence of temperature in the rock mass (in the mining sector) as well as the energy demand of the activity developed.


In the National Institute for Silicosis, technical and human resources are available, with experience in risk assessments at high temperatures (risk of thermal stress due to heat) in the workplace.