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Be Safe in the Heat

HeatStress NEW
It’s finally summer! Barbeques, baseball games, concerts, pool parties, hanging out on the beach… these are the activities we’ve been looking forward to doing all winter long! The only thing you have to worry about is tan lines and keeping ice in the cooler, right? Unfortunately, while the sun and warm weather allows us to take advantage of the outdoors, excessive heat, sweating, and not keeping properly hydrated creates down side to fun in the sun as well.

There are serious health implications when we don’t pay attention to our bodies in the warm weather. Heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all symptoms and illnesses that can occur while we’re working or playing.

Prevention is the key. Tips include drink lots of water, find shade and rest often, and wear loose clothes and light colors.

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

Illness Symptoms First Aid*
Heat stroke
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Excessive sweating or red, hot, dry skin
  • Very high body temperature
  • Call 911

While waiting for help:

  • Place worker in shady, cool area
  • Loosen clothing, remove outer clothing
  • Fan air on worker; cold packs in armpits
  • Wet worker with cool water; apply ice packs, cool compresses, or ice if available
  • Provide fluids (preferably water) as soon as possible
  • Stay with worker until help arrives
Heat exhaustion
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Weakness
  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • Fast heart beat
  • Have worker sit or lie down in a cool, shady area
  • Give worker plenty of water or other cool beverages to drink
  • Cool worker with cold compresses/ice packs
  • Take to clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation or treatment if signs or symptoms worsen or do not improve within 60 minutes.
  • Do not return to work that day
Heat cramps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain
  • Usually in abdomen, arms, or legs
  • Have worker rest in shady, cool area
  • Worker should drink water or other cool beverages
  • Wait a few hours before allowing worker to return to strenuous work
  • Have worker seek medical attention if cramps don't go away
Heat rash
  • Clusters of red bumps on skin
  • Often appears on neck, upper chest, folds of skin
  • Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible
  • Keep the affected area dry

* Remember, if you are not a medical professional, use this information as a guide only to help workers in need.

Credit: OSHA

And always remember that our children and pets can also be affected by the heat!

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Wednesday, 11 December 2019