When working in hot environments, body temperatures may rise. Workers must take the necessary precautions to prevent and treat heat- related illnesses.
Heat exhaustion, or even more serious heat stroke, is common in employees working outdoors. It’s important for all employees to understand the warning signs of heat related Illnesses and how to prevent them.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Nausea or headache
- Muscle cramps
- Moist, clammy skin
- Slurred speech
- Hot dry skin or a lack of sweating
- Vomiting and diarrhea
KNOW HOW TO PREVENT HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES
- A healthy body is less susceptible, so be sure to:
- Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and excessive carbohydrates, such as soda or fruit juice, which can inhibit water uptake.
- Acclimate yourself gradually to heavy work in the heat.
Follow these best practices to get out of the heat:
- Try to schedule the heaviest work for cooler periods of the day.
- Take breaks in the shade, and more frequently in extreme heat.
- Rotate work into shaded or cooler areas if possible.
- Use cooling devices, if available.
- Work in pairs to help workers recognize dangers signs.