Heat Stress

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Jul 11, 2018

WHAT IS HEAT STRESS
Heat stress is a serious condition that must not be taken lightly. It occurs when too much heat is absorbed into your body and has many side affects. In today's blog, we are going to go over everything there is to know about how to stay safe in this heat we have been experiencing.

RISK FACTORS
-High temperature
-Humidity
-Direct sun exposure
-Having no wind
-Doing heavy labor
-Not having enough water
-Waterproof clothing

HOW YOUR BODY REACTS TO HEAT
Your body needs to do 3 things to protect itself from heat. Breathing, sweating, and blood flow. When you are working in hot conditions your muscles need more blood flow. In turn, it reduces the blood flow available to release the heat, which is why your body can over heat. When you sweat it helps your body cool off. But when the humidity is high, your sweat cannot evaporate quick enough.

SYMPTOMS:

HEAT EXHAUSTION
-Become extremely sweaty
-You are weak & tired
-Nauseous
-Slightly higher body temperature
-You are pale & have clammy skin

HEAT STROKE
-Mental confusion
-Fainting
-Having a seizure
-Having a body temperature over 106 degrees
-Dry skin
-Red hot skin

HEAT CRAMPS
-When your muscles are cramping
-Having muscle spasms

HEAT RASH
-Small pink or red bumps
-Prickly feeling in your skin
-Itchy skin

FAINTING
-You lose consciousness
-Sweating

HOW TO KNOW IF IT'S TOO HOT
-Temperature rises
-Humidity increases
-Sun gets stronger
-There is no air movement
-Protective clothing or gear is worn
-Work is strenuous


TRAINING
Train your workers to know how to handle heat conditions. Knowing the following would be helpful.
-Monitor yourself
-Block out direct sun and other heat sources
-Drink plenty of water every 15 minutes
-Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine
-Wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothes

Call 911 immediately if you feel you or a coworker is experiencing any of this symptoms. Below is a card you can print our for your workers from OSHA.

Print Card

If you haven't read last week's post on Road Rage Safety, read it here.

Resources:
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/

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