How To Beat Heat Stress
The summer season is upon us, and that means stifling outdoor temperatures and a dangerous increase in heat-related workplace safety hazards.
Here’s what you need to know to protect your self when facing long hours in high-risk, heat-stress situations. If you know the warning signs of each, you have a better chance of taking care of any employee suffering from heat stress so they escape serious disabilities or even death.
Understand The Five Categories Of Heat-Related Illness
- Heat Rash — Caused by skin being constantly wet from sweat and plugged sweat glands, this condition appears as a raised, red blistery rash.
- Heat Cramps — Caused by excessive loss of water and electrolytes, with cramps usually occurring in the legs or abdomen.
- Heat Syncope — Caused by prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or laying position, includes fainting or dizziness.
- Heat Exhaustion — Symptoms are pale skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness, with the potential for fainting.
- Heat Stroke — Symptoms are dry hot skin and a very high body temp, skin is red but without sweat, and the person suffering a heat stroke is incoherent or unconscious.
Know The Early Warning Signs And Risk Factors
The following is a list of early warning signs and risk factors for HRIs. If you see a worker experiencing any of these symptoms, they should be taken to a cool place to rest and be provided with water right away. They should also be given immediate medical attention.
Early Warning Signs Of Heat Related Illness:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Mood swings
- Rapid heart rate
- Dark yellow urine (dehydration)
- Redness of skin
- Swollen lips
- High air temperatures
- Direct exposure to sunlight
- High humidity
- Radiant heat
- Lack of air movement
- Lack of water or other fluids to rehydrate
- High work intensity
- Heavy and/or non-breathable clothing
- Long work hours