With the hot summer months finally coming to an end, Queensland is beginning to welcome some much needed respite. The cooler weather does not however diminish the importance of staying hydrated, particularly whilst working on site.
It has been a sweltering few months with temperatures hitting 40 degrees in the regional areas of Australia. This unrelenting heat, combined with Queensland’s intense humidity is the perfect storm for heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Heat stress and dehydration are a result of being exposed to temperatures higher than what the body can cope with. Depending on the temperature, humidity, protective clothing worn and the level of physical activity the effects of heat stress can vary. Note that those with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease are at a greater risk of dehydration.
It is imperative that you learn to recognise the warning signs of dehydration and do all that is possible to remain hydrated throughout the day. Please watch the following video for tips ton staying safe and hydrated (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=raLMyR8jJbA).
Warning Signs (of dehydration)
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
- Lack of concentration
- Dark urine colour (see pdf attachment)
Tips for Staying Hydrated
- Start the day hydrated
- According to WorkCover QLD, workers don’t feel thirsty until they have lost 1-2% of their body weight in liquid.
- Drink 600mL – 1L of water per hour and consider drinking electrolytes
- Recognise the signs of dehydration and takes appropriate breaks as necessary
- Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol as these drinks increase dehydration
- Be SUN SMART!!