Temperature hits 50 degrees at Pilbara mine site

West Australia’s north continues to swelter, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees at Rio Tinto’s Mesa A mine site near Pannawonica yesterday.

A welcome board at the site registered the high temperature as early as 1:37pm in the afternoon, ABC reported.

Mine operations manager Wayne Zarb described conditions as “baking” but conceded the unofficial board may not be “calibrated that well”.

"But at the end of the day look it's the Pilbara, it's summer, 45 degrees is the norm,” he said.

"It might be plus a couple, it might be minus a couple, it's hard to pick the difference."

Zarb said work at the site was continuing as normal but employees were encouraged to take regular water breaks and look out for one another.

"We really push the point with our workforce that if it's too much for you, you make sure you let us know.

"Take a break, drink your water, we've got plenty of electrolytes on stock for the guys. It's important they look after their health."

Tips for workers to stay hydrated include:
•Drink small amounts of water every 15- 20 minutes
•Avoid drinks that cause dehydration such as alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks
•Monitor urine output- urine should be clear to light straw coloured
•Take regular breaks
•Monitor the condition of co-workers – unusual clumsiness can be a sign of heat stroke
•Work at a steady pace and do strenuous work in the cooler part of the day

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