Summer Workplace Safety Hazards: How To Beat Heat Stress
The summer season is upon us, and that means stifling outdoor temperatures and a dangerous increase in heat-related workplace safety hazards.
Every year, thousands of workers nationwide suffer from serious heat-related illnesses (HRI). These HRIs, when not addressed properly through prevention and protection tactics, quickly turn from heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Heat stroke is a very dire, fatal level of HRI and has killed, on average, 30 people every year.
Although tens of thousands of workers have suffered serious heat-related illnesses and hundreds have died over the last decade, we must remember that all of these incidents were 100% preventable.
Understand the Categories of Heat-Related Illness
If you know the warning signs of each, you have a better chance of taking care of any employee suffering from heat stress so they can escape serious disabilities or even death.
- Heat Rash— Caused by skin being constantly wet from sweat and plugged sweat glands, this condition appears as a raised, red blistery rash.
- Heat Cramps— Caused by excessive loss of water and electrolytes, with cramps usually occurring in the legs or abdomen.
- Heat Exhaustion— Symptoms are pale skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness, with the potential for fainting.
- Heat Stroke— Symptoms are dry hot skin and a very high body temp, skin is red but without sweat, and the person suffering a heat stroke is incoherent or unconscious.