Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces, sun exposure, or steam.
Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or even those that take medications which may be affected by extreme heat.
Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.
The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool phone app, found here is a useful resource for planning outdoor work activities based on how hot it feels throughout the day. It features a real-time heat index and hourly forecasts which are specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.
When the temperatures rise, getting enough to drink is important whether you're working, playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun. It's also critical for your heart health.
Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart to more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and, it helps the muscles work more efficiently. "If you're well hydrated, your heart doesn't have to work as hard," said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician and an American Heart Association volunteer with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.
For a variety of products to beat the heat at both work and home, please visit the DiVal Safety website.
For more information on our Heat Stress Training Class, please contact Judy Trent at 716-710-3153 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.