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:
· 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