Hot Hot Hot Weather

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

  1. Heat Rash — Caused by skin being constantly wet from sweat and plugged sweat glands, this condition appears as a raised, red blistery rash.
  2. Heat Cramps — Caused by excessive loss of water and electrolytes, with cramps usually occurring in the legs or abdomen.
  3. Heat Syncope — Caused by prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or laying position, includes fainting or dizziness.
  4. Heat Exhaustion — Symptoms are pale skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness, with the potential for fainting.
  5. 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:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Disorientation
  • Mood swings
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dark yellow urine (dehydration)
  • Redness of skin
  • Swollen lips
  • Chills
  • 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

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