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Heat Illness Prevention
Many people are not aware of the risks
of heat stress on their body
When the body is unable to cool itself it
is vulnerable to:
a. heat stress
b. heat exhaustion
c. more severe heat stroke can occur
d. even death
Four Types of Heat Exposure
 Heat
 Heat
 Heat
Heat Rash:
Cause: hot humid environment,
plugged sweat glands
Symptoms: red bumpy rash with
severe itching
Treatment: change into dry clothes,
avoid hot environments and rinse skin
with cool water.
Heat Cramps
Cause: heavy sweating drains a
person’s body of salt, which cannot be
replaced just by drinking water
Symptoms: painful cramps in arms,
legs or stomach which occur suddenly
at work or later at home. Heat cramps
are serious because they can be a
warning of other more dangerous heatinduced illnesses.
Heat Cramps:
Treatment: move to a cool area
and loosen clothing and drink cool
salted water (1 tsp. salt per gallon
of water or a sports drink with
electrolytes). If the cramps are
severe or do not go away, seek
medical help.
Heat Exhaustion:
Cause: fluid loss and not enough water
intake causes a person’s body cooling
system to start to break down.
Symptoms: heavy sweating, cool
moist skin, weak pulse, normal or low
blood pressure, tired and weak, has
nausea and is vomiting, very thirsty or
is panting or breathing rapidly
Heat Exhaustion:
Treatment: GET MEDICAL AID. This
condition can lead to heat stroke, which
can be fatal. Move to a cool shaded
area, loosen or remove excess clothing,
provide cool water to drink and
fan/spray with cool water.
Heat Stroke
Cause: if a person’s body has used up
all its water and salt reserves, the body
will stop sweating and this can cause
the body temperature to rise. Heat
stroke may develop suddenly or may
follow from heat exhaustion.
Heat Stroke
Symptoms: high body temperature and
weakness, confusion, upset or acting
strangely, has hot/dry red skin, fast pulse,
headache or dizziness. In later stages a
person may pass out and have convulsions.
Treatment: CALL 911. This condition can kill
a person quickly. Remove excess clothing,
fan/spray with cool water and offer sips of
water if the person is conscious.
Drink plenty of fluids. When you are
in a hot environment, it is possible for
the body to loose one liter of fluids per
hour. Thirst is not a good indicator of
fluid loss. Do not wait until you are
thirsty to drink fluids. Drink two to four
glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids
each hour.
Take frequent breaks.
As the temperature increases, more
frequent breaks are needed in cool
shaded areas that block direct sunlight.
One indicator that blockage is sufficient
is when objects do not cast a shadow in
the area of blocked sunlight.
Wear proper clothing. Loose-fitting,
lightweight, light-colored fabrics are
recommended. A wide-brimmed hat will
provide shade and keep the head cool.
Acclimatize. It takes at least 7-10
days to get used to working in a hot
environment. Slowly build up tolerance
to the heat and your work activity.
Stay in shape. A healthy heart and
good muscle tone work more efficiently
and generate less heat.
Eat light during the workday. Hot,
heavy meals add heat to your body and
divert blood flow to aid with digestion.
Normal dietary intake typically replaces
all salt lost during the day, so there is
no need to take salt
Be aware of special heat stress
risk. Caffeine, alcohol, diabetes or
medications for high blood pressure and
allergies can increase the risk of heat
Perform the heaviest work in the
coolest part of the day. Working
while it is cool outside helps keep your
body temperature down
Work in pairs. Use the buddy system
so you always have someone with you
that can help in case you become
affected by the
Following the preventative measures
will help you protect yourself and others
around you. Also, remember the
importance of immediately reporting to
your employer symptoms or signs of
heat illness in yourself or your coworkers.

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