Cool It!!! Addressing Heat Related Illness

by | Thursday, June 23, 2016 | 0 comment(s)

Addressing heat illness on the job site is a must for worker safety in hot summer months.

There are several types of heat illness the most serious two are Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Heat related illness can be deadly. In 2014, 18 workers died from heat stroke and thousands suffered from heat illnesses.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sweaty Skin
  • Weakness
  • Cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fast heart beat

Symptoms of Heat Stroke include:

  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Fainting

Heat illness can be prevented by protecting workers from extreme heat through

  • Providing workers with water, rest, and shade
  • Allowing workers time to acclimatize (build tolerance to the heat)
  • Plan for heat related emergencies
  • Monitor workers for signs of heat illness
  • Train workers on recognition and prevention of heat illnesses

Ways to prevent heat related illness include

  • New, returning, or workers who have not previously worked in the heat should start with a lighter work schedule until they build a tolerance to working in the heat.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water at least every 15 min. It is also a good idea to drink at least 500 ml prior to beginning work in the heat.
  • Take frequent rest breaks and rest in the shade to coll down.
  • Wear a hat and light colored clothing
  • Be aware of and watch for signs of heat illness in yourself and your coworkers

Remember Lack of physical fitness, age, sex, drug and alcohol use all increase the risk of heat related illness.

So remember stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay healthy.

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