Heat Stress

09-11-20 04:20 PM Comment(s)

Protecting Workers From Heat Stress

Arrive Safe. Work Safe. Go Home Safe.

Heat Illness - Exposure Exposure to heat can cause illness and death. The most serious heat illness is heat stroke. Other heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided. There are precautions that can be taken any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.

Risk Factors:

  • High temperatures
  • High humidity
  • Direct sun exposure
  • No breeze/wind
  • Heavy physical labor
  • No recent exposure to hot workplaces/outdoors
  • Low liquid intake
  • Waterproof (non-breathable) clothing

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Extreme thirst
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of sweat

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Passing out
  • Seizures
  • Lack of sweat

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

  • Establish a complete heat illness prevention program for your facility (based on location and average temperatures)
  • Provide cool drinking water
  • Provide work schedules with frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas
  • Acclimate workers that are not use to working outside or in hot temperatures
  • Designate personnel to monitor conditions and protect workers who may be at risk for heat stress
  • Consider protective clothing that provides cooling effects

How to Protect Workers/Employees:
  • Understand symptoms of heat stress/illness/stroke
  • Use the buddy system
  • Provide shade where possible
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes