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Prevent miner heat stress: NIOSH releases training tool

Photo: NIOSH

Washington — A new training tool developed by NIOSH is aimed at helping miners recognize the signs of heat-related illness and provide appropriate first aid.

The agency calls occupational heat stress a “growing issue” as surface miners endure heat waves with greater frequency and underground miners work in warmer, deeper areas. 

Heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rashes and rhabdomyolysis may arise from heat stress, NIOSH says. These conditions may also trigger injuries stemming from falls tied to dizziness or slipping on sweat puddles.

The free tool features two interactive, discussion-based activities that explain how to assess the risk of heat stress, identify its symptoms and provide first aid.

“Because various mines have different time constraints, the modular design allows for flexibility with training that can be given in small sections or provided during a longer training event,” NIOSH says.

Also included are fact sheets on topics such as acclimatization, first aid for heat illness, hydration, risk factors and work/rest schedules.

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