One of the workplace risks that can arise for construction workers here in California is the risk of heat stress. A worker can suffer impactful heat-related injuries if proper steps aren’t taken after they start showing early signs of heat stress.
One challenge that can come up in relation to this is that workers and supervisors may not always be clear on what sorts of things are indicative of heat stress coming on. A new technology aims to take some of the guesswork out of trying to determine if a construction worker is starting to experience heat-related problems.
The technology was developed in Australia and it is a special construction vest that has sensors in it. The vest can (with its associated smartphone app) detect whether the wearer is experiencing any heart rate or body temperature anomalies associated with heat stress, and can inform the worker or their supervisor via smartphone if warning signs are detected. This could give a worker or supervisor a clear indication that the worker’s heat-related situation is one that could pose safety risks and that needs to be promptly addressed.
It will be interesting to see if this vest or similar heat-stress-detection technologies for construction workers ever make it into common use here in America.
For the time being, however, workers and supervisors at construction sites will continue to have to rely on personal observation to try to spot and head off potential heat-stress-related problems.
It is important to remember that heat-related injuries are no minor matter. They can take a substantial toll on a person. Experienced workers’ comp lawyers can give construction workers, and other workers, who have suffered injuries related to heat stress at work assessments and explanations of their workers’ comp rights and options.
Source: Phys.org, “Smart vests have construction workers’ safety at heart,” March 16, 2016