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Job Site Heat Stress Relief

Job Site Heat Stress Relief

Job sites need to stay on pace all the time, but you're probably familiar with what’s looming ahead that’s sure to slow things down.  Summer heat in the Northern hemisphere will soon be upon us.  You may already be feeling it.  Not only do we need to protect ourselves from the heat, but we also need to recognize and treat ourselves and any of our co-workers who may be suffering from excessive heat exposure.
Step 1:  Be prepared – bring plenty of fresh water to your job and stay hydrated.  In addition, dress properly for the weather.  Often, staying cool is difficult with safety clothing designed to protect you from hazards.  Safety Smart Gear has an entire department dedicated to heat stress relief.  Choose your clothing and heat stress gear ahead of time, before you need it.
Step 2:  Recognize the symptoms of heat stress – keep an eye on your co-workers and learn when there may be signs that they are in trouble.  Heat exhaustion can come on slowly, but we often don’t recognize it until it’s already causing severe problems.
Step 3:  Don't delay, respond to signs and symptoms of heat-related illness early, so that the condition doesn't worsen.  Immediate first aid is straightforward and goes along with most common sense. The most serious of these conditions is heatstroke.  If you or anyone on the job site are showing symptoms of heatstroke (a serious illness), then get medical help right away.  Don't give aspirin or acetaminophen to anyone with heat stroke, as this can cause other problems.  Most people with heatstroke have an altered level of consciousness and cannot safely be given fluids to drink.  

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

WHAT TO DO

HEAT STROKE

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness (passing out)
  • Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cool, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, week pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting (passing out)
  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen your clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
  • Sip water

Get medical help right away if:

  • You are throwing up
  • Your symptoms get worse
  • Your symptoms last longer than 1 hour

HEAT CRAMPS

  • Heavy sweating during intense exercise
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
  • Drink water or a sports drink
  • Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity

Get medical help right away if:

  • Cramps last longer than 1 hour
  • You’re on a low sodium diet
  • You have heart problems

SUNBURN

  • Painful,red, and warm skin
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Stay out of the sunburn until your sunburn heals
  • Put cool cloths on sunburned areas or take a cool bath
  • Put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas
  • Do not break blisters

HEAT RASH

  • Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin (usually on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases)
  • Stay in a cool dry place
  • Keep the rash dry
  • Use powder (like baby powder) to soothe the rash

Source:  cdc.gov

May 25th 2021 Bill Bowman

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