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Personal Protective Equipment and Heat: Risk of Heat Stress

Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in warm/hot environments increases the risk of heat stress. This occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion and lead to heat stroke if the person is unable to cool down.

This document, from Public Health England, contains further information and actions which can be taken when working in hot conditions and using PPE.

Measures to control the temperature of clinical environments and enable staff to make behavioural adaptations to stay cool and well hydrated should be made. Staff may require more frequent breaks and the frequency of PPE changes may increase, with a resulting increase in demand.

The document sets out advice on planning for the summer months and also gives some background information on the issue.

The document is available here.

Public Health England July 2021

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