#253 Heat Prevention

Heat illness includes heat cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Workers have died or suffered serious health problems from these conditions. Heat illness can be prevented.

Know the symptoms of heat illness

Watch for symptoms in yourself and your coworkers. If you feel any symptoms, tell your coworkers and supervisor immediately because you may need medical help. Know who to talk to and how to get help before you start each workday.

Early symptoms

Fatigue, Heavy sweating, Headache, Cramps, Dizziness, High pulse rate, Nausea/vomiting

Life-threatening symptoms

High body temperature, Red, hot, dry skin, Confusion, Convulsions, Fainting

Tell your supervisor if you are new to working in the heat or have had heat illness before. Stay alert to the weather. During a heat wave you are at greater risk of getting sick. You need to watch yourself and coworkers more closely, and may need to drink more water, take more breaks, and use other measures.

Drink enough cool, fresh water Drink at least one 8-ounce cup (3 cones) every 15 minutes during your entire work shift. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Do not drink alcohol. Avoid coffee. Choose water over soft drinks.

 Take rest breaks in the shade to cool down. Wear proper clothing – Loose fitting, light-weight and light-colored cotton clothes, a wide-brimmed hat or cap, and a bandanna. Talk to your doctor if you have illnesses like diabetes, are taking medicines or are on a low salt diet.