Heat Stress: know the Symptoms & Risk Factors and how to prevent Heat Stress.
Heat Stress Safety is a major concern for many different people. Heat Stress Illness is a problem that can affect everyone from a 17-year-old high school football player to a 56/year-old doing yard work. Every year thousands of people are affected by Heat Stress Illness. Any worker who is exposed to humid and hot conditions are the most at risk to suffer from Heat Stress Illness. Some workers are at a much higher risk than others; for example, anyone who is working in construction, transportation and utilities would be a higher risk than someone working in an office. Another group of workers that are high risk for Heat Stress Illness are workers who are new to the job or just returning to work after taking more than a week off.
It is very important to know the risk factors and symptoms of someone suffering from heat stress.
OSHA Heat Stress Risk Factors
- High temperatures, humidity, direct sun exposure, and/or no breeze or wind.
- Low liquid intake
- Heavy physical labor
- Waterproof clothing
- Infrequent or no recent exposures to hot environments
- Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- Headache, dizziness, fainting
- Weakness and wet skin
- Irritability or confusion
- Thirst, nausea, vomiting
- Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Confusion and inability to think clearly
– Pass out, collapse, or have seizures
– Stop sweating
According to OSHA to help prevent Heat Illness, make sure that you:
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty
- Rest in the shade to cool down
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing
- Learn the signs of Heat Illness and what to do in an emergency
- Keep an eye on fellow workers
- “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat (your body needs to adjust)