A new study by the University of Western Australia has found that heat affects the productivity, cognitive function and health of indoor service workers more than outdoor maintenance crews. The research was conducted on 24 mining workers in the Pilbara where half did indoor cleaning jobs and the other half did outdoor maintenance work. Lead researcher and PhD candidate Sarah Taggart said indoor workers experienced higher heart rates and were more dehydrated than outdoor workers. “They also reported higher ratings of fatigue and heat discomfort, and were more dehydrated than the outdoor maintenance workers, although there were no differences in core body temperature or mental functioning between the two groups,” she said. Ms Taggart said that given the findings of the study, the research team recommended more education on hydration, providing scheduled rest breaks, and closer monitoring of employee health. She said implementing these recommendations would help protect the health of mining workers in the Pilbara. “Our findings have significant implications for the mining industry and workplaces with similar conditions,” Ms Taggart said. “Implementing these recommendations could help protect the health and safety of workers, improve productivity and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses.” A minerals and petroleum review released by the WA Government last year found 157,700 people worked in the resources industry.