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Gulf of Mexico Offshore Workers Falling Victim to Heat-Related Illness as Temps Soar

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1470
August 23, 2023

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has issued a heat advisory for offshore workers as some workers have fallen victim to heat-related illnesses.

The alert comes as heat index values in some areas of the Gulf of Mexico have topped 110°F with no relief in site, according to National Weather Services forecasts. Heat index values combine air temperature and humidity to better reflect what the temperature outside actually feels like. Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico have also been at record temperatures.

The BSEE said there have been multiple recent instances of personnel experiencing symptoms of heat-related illnesses, including heat-stroke and heat-exhaustion, while working offshore. At least two offshore incidents required workers to be transferred to shore for treatment due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. In one case, the worker was transported for further evaluation, while in the other case, the worker was treated with IV fluids on board before being transported to a local emergency room.Heat stroke can be fatal if not treated early.

The BSEE recommends that offshore operators and contractors take measures to prevent and treat heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including providing employees and contractors with information on prevention and treatment, ensuring access to cool areas and liquids, and implementing work policies requiring periodic breaks in high temperatures.

In case of symptoms, medical attention should be provided, and workers should be moved to a cool, shaded area and given cool liquids, and unnecessary clothing should be removed.

The BSEE’s safety alert can be found HERE.

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