Heat Stress

Post by: Tom Schin
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Summer time is upon us. We wanted to share some workplace safety tips to ensure that everyone have a safe and enjoyable summer both at work and at play. Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to regulate itself by sweating and one’s core body temperature rises to critical levels. It is a medical emergency that can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and in severe cases, death.

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  • Cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Heavy perspiration or moist, clammy skin
  • Labored breating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness/lightheaded

 

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  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation or staggering
  • Unconciousness

 

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  • Move the person to a cool, ventilated area
  • Lay the individual down with legs elevated
  • Check the pace of breath
  • Try to lower body temperature by using a fan or applying cold compresses
  • Have the person drink water
  • Monitor vital signs
  • Report the incident to a supervisor
  • If necessary, call emergency personnel

 

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  • Drink water consistently throughout the day, both at work and at home
  • When possible, work during off-peak hours when the sun is less intense, or stay out of the sun altogether
  • Take breaks. Cool down frequently by sitting in a shaded or air conditioned area
  • Wear loose, breathable cotton clothing, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen
  • Be prepared. Stay up-to-date on trainings and maintain a healthy physical condition. An active lifestyle will help build tolerance to the heat.