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Causes of Worksite Dehydration

Causes of Worksite Dehydration

Heat exposure is a common cause of worker dehydration and there are a number of other factors that contribute to dehydration, ranging from the climate, the nature of the work, lifestyle, and the work environment

Fatigue is an early symptom of dehydration where workers tend to get distracted, lose focus, have slower reaction times and be less alert. This creates an unsafe work environment increasing the number of site injuries for those operating plant and heavy machinery, working at heights or handling hazardous substances.

Avoid dehydration and fatigue for yourself and those around you by recognising the four key causes of dehydration:

Climatic Factors

It feels like each passing summer breaks new temperature records. Working under direct sunlight or being exposed to high air temperatures and humidity is common in the construction and mining, and can contribute to dehydration.


Work Environment

Tough work environments with heavy machinery or hot work processes can expose workers to radiant heat, easily causing overheating if the teams aren’t sufficiently hydrated.



Being physically unfit or having alcohol in the system puts workers at higher risk of dehydration and fatigue. It’s also been found that it is more likely in overweight and obese workers. Others at risks are 65+ y.o, those on certain medications and with health conditions such as heart disease.


Nature of the work

Sometimes the nature of the work itself can contribute to dehydration. Physically intense activity, the duration of the activity or being required to wear PPE such as coveralls, respirators, or face shields are also contributing factors to dehydration.

We can limit the 4 causes of dehydration by avoiding direct sunlight, wearing adequate sun protection such as eyewear, headwear, sunscreen, and by keeping hydrated. Failure to do so can result in increased body temperature, overheating, heat stroke, and in extreme cases, death.

Download The 4 Causes of Worker Dehydration


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