Description of Incident
The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published Safety Alert 467 relating to heat related illnesses occurring offshore.
BSSE notes that there have been multiple recent instances of personnel experiencing symptoms of heat-related illnesses while working offshore. Some examples include:
- An operator noticed a contractor working on a platform experiencing dehydration symptoms. The affected individual was given fluids and told to rest. Out of caution, he was later transported to shore for further evaluation;
- An onsite medic observed signs of severe heat exhaustion in an employee. The employee was treated with IV fluids on board. After consulting with the onshore doctors, the employee was transported in a medevac helicopter to a local emergency room for further medical attention.
Heat exhaustion can be defined as “the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating.” Heat exhaustion is most likely to affect people with high blood pressure and those working in a hot environment.
IMCA members in their operations can experience high temperatures on their worksites and these temperatures and humidity can cause a person to have a higher potential of heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.
IMCA has published an Information Note on working in hot weather conditions, which can be found here.
To view this IMCA/BSEE safety alert in full, click the 'Download Alert' button above and refer to section 5 of the document.