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Top Ten Things You Need to Know About…HEAT STRESS

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jul 14, 2009 7:54:55 AM

Top Ten Things You Need to Know About…HEAT STRESS

Paula Kaufmann - CIH


1. Our bodies get stressed by heat and then are unable to cool down by sweating.
2. An overload of heat is often caused by a combination of high temperature and high humidity, which can be made more “stressful” by no breeze moving by our skin, direct sun, and physical exertion
3. Heat-related illnesses are heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
4. Heat rash, prickly heat is caused by the swelling of sweat glands that are just pumping water out of you blood in an attempt to cool down your skin!
5. Heat cramps are painful spasms of the muscles that occur among those who sweat profusely in heat, drink large quantities of water, but do not adequately replace the body's salt loss. These often occur in the evening after exposure to the heat has subsided.
6. Headaches, dizziness, and nausea are symptoms of heat exhaustion
7. Heat stoke often occurs hours after overexposure to heat with dry, hot skin (you can’t sweat anymore) and mental confusion. This is a life threatening situation. Call 911.
8. People can adjust to the heat but this usually takes about 5 to 7 days.
9. Consumption of alcoholic beverages during prolonged periods of heat can cause additional dehydration.
10. Managing the stress from heat is in your own hands! The OSHA Quick Card for Heat Stress tells us:

• Know signs/symptoms of heat-related illnesses; monitor yourself and coworkers.
• Block out direct sun or other heat sources.
• Use cooling fans/air-conditioning; rest regularly.
• Drink lots of water; about 1 cup every 15 minutes.
• Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals.

Topics: OSHA, health and safety, General Industry H&S, Construction H&S, Emergency Response, H&S Training, Hazardous Waste Management, Occupational Health, Occupational Safety, emergency response training, Fire Safety, Exposure, Respiratory, Occupational Training, Safety Training in Spanish

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