Summer Workplace Safety Hazards: How To Beat Heat Stress Safety

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.

  1. Heat Rash— Caused by skin being constantly wet from sweat and plugged sweat glands, this condition appears as a raised, red blistery rash.
  2. Heat Cramps— Caused by excessive loss of water and electrolytes, with cramps usually occurring in the legs or abdomen.
  3. Heat Exhaustion— Symptoms are pale skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness, with the potential for fainting.
  4. 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.