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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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