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How can heat cause serious workplace accidents?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Workplace Injuries

In the realm of occupational hazards, the threat of heat-related accidents looms large. As temperatures rise, so does the potential for serious workplace problems.

In environments where exposure to heat is common, employees face many risks that demand vigilant attention.

Heat-induced fatigue

One of the most immediate consequences of prolonged exposure to high temperatures is fatigue. This can impair cognitive functions, leading to compromised decision-making abilities. In environments where split-second judgments are important, such as construction sites or manufacturing plants, the repercussions are huge.


As the temperature climbs, so does the risk of dehydration among workers. In physically demanding jobs, dehydration can swiftly compromise an individual’s physical capabilities. With men needing 15.5 cups and women needing 11.5 cups of water a day, staying constantly hydrated is important.

Reduced endurance, diminished coordination and slower reaction times become common. This lays the groundwork for serious accidents waiting to happen.

Cardiovascular issues

Exposure to high temperatures can induce heat stress. This is a condition where the body’s cooling mechanisms struggle to keep pace with heat production.

This can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure. It poses a significant risk for workers with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

Equipment malfunctions

Heat not only affects the human body but also takes a toll on machinery and equipment. In industrial settings, this poses an additional layer of risk. Elevated temperatures can lead to equipment malfunctions, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

In the workplace, the threat of heat-related accidents is often not treated with proper respect. By prioritizing employee well-being, employers can reduce the risks associated with heat and create a safer, more resilient workplace.