Humidity & Heat Stress Management

Pryme Australia - HUMIDEX - Humidity and Heat Stress Management

What role does humidity play in heat stress? As the temperature rises, the often-forgotten threat of humidity can create dangerous working conditions that can lead to heat stress in workers. Heat stress can occur when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. In Australia and New Zealand, where temperatures can soar above 40°C, it’s important to understand the risks associated with humidity and take steps to implement a Heat Stress Management plan.

Workers who are exposed to high temperatures and humidity are at a higher risk of developing heat stress. The body’s natural cooling mechanisms, such as sweating, are less effective in humid environments, which can lead to an increase in body temperature. As humidity levels rise, sweating becomes less effective, which can cause the body to overheat and lead to serious health problems.

According to a report by The Australian Workers’ Union, we can measure the temperature using the Humidex (humidity index). Humidex is a term used to describe the combined effect of heat and humidity on the human body. It is a measure of how hot the air feels to a person when both temperature and humidity are taken into account.

Worksites can also use the Wet Bulb Temperature method to gauge safety on a worksite – find out more about this alternative heat stress tool here.

The Humidex is expressed as a single number, which represents the perceived temperature, or how hot it feels, based on a combination of temperature and humidity. The higher the Humidex, the hotter and more uncomfortable the weather conditions are likely to be.

The Humidex scale ranges from 0 to over 50, with higher values indicating more severe heat and humidity conditions. At the lower end of the scale, a Humidex value of 30 or below is generally considered comfortable, while a value above 40 is considered extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous – it is here that worksites need to institute a heat stress management plan.

High levels of humidity can pose a significant risk to human health, especially during periods of extreme heat. It’s of the utmost importance to take measures to protect the worksite. Pryme Australia offers several innovative solutions to stay cool, from our hydration and electrolyte-enriched Sqwincher range to Ergodyne’s Cooling PPE. Pryme products can keep you safe from the dangers of heat stress-related illnesses.

Worksites across Australia and New Zealand should ensure the engagement and education of implemented heat stress and hydration plans. For more information on heat stress management visit SafeWork Australia.

Get in contact with the Pryme team to discuss our Heat Stress Management Toolbox Talks today –


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