As temperatures increase and summer drags on, heat stress injuries and dehydration can become more common.
See also: post on cold weather illness
Heat stress prevention tips:
- Stay physically fit and healthy
- Acclimation to heat can take 5 to 7 days
- Drink extra water the day before and every 20 minutes
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol during work and the day before as they can dehydrate you
- Rotate your work schedule and add a fourth man to provide extra breaks from heat
- Add shade and breezy blowing air to cool off while working if possible
- Prepare for the weather and learn the signals of heat stress before it hits
On some worksites be prepared for the extra stress of wearing FRC coveralls or plastic “Tyvek” suits. These protective suits can block the ability of the body to sweat and extra rest needs to be planned.
In addition to temperature, increased humidity makes it harder for the body to react to heat. The “heat index” has been developed to account for the additional effect of humidity. Check the heat index chart put out by NOAA to determine the heat severity level expected to be encountered during the day.
NOAA Heat Index
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Learn the signs of heat stroke and if you notice them in any of your fellow workers, notify your supervisor immediately. Heat stroke victims must be given immediate first aid and medical attention.
- Hot skin with no sweat
- Hallucinations and confusion
- Body chills
- Dizziness and slurred speech
Recommended courses: SafeLand San Antonio
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