Start Preparing Now for Summer Heat Stress




As spring comes to an end and summer moves in, the dangers of heat stress and heat exhaustion move in. Understanding heat illness makes a difference in the care and prevention of heat related issues. Heat stress occurs when the body temperature climbs above 100 degrees F.

Who is at risk?

  • Anyone who is doing physical labor in warm conditions
  • Anyone working in High humidity
  • Anyone who isn’t properly hydrated
  • Older workers
  • Anyone working in direct sunlight
  • Anyone working around equipment that gives off heat
  • Anyone who has had a previous problem with a heat illness
  • Certain people who are on certain medications
  • Anyone with high blood pressure
  • Anyone who is overweight
  • Anyone wearing clothing or PPE that retains heat

What are the symptoms?

Early stages:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomitting
  • Heat rash, especially on the upper chest and neck area or in the groin or elbow creases.

Later, extreme serious stages:

  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Dry skin (body has lost all moisture and isn’t sweating any more)
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

The best way to deal with heat related illnesses is to keep the body temperature down. There are several ways to do this:

  • Wear lightweight, light-color, breathable clothing.
  • Protect the skin from direct sunlight
  • Work in the cooler hours if possible
  • Provide shade
  • Drink lots of water (avoid caffeinated beverages or beverages with a lot of sugar or sweetners)
  • Don’t eat heavy meals until after the work is done.
  • Shield from equipment that gives off heat or move it away from the work area

Treating Heat Stress

  • Move the person to a shaded area
  • Loosen all clothing
  • Hydrate slowly (when the body is close to shut down it will not be able to absorb liquids properly. Too much to fast can do more harm than good)
  • If the later stages are present, immediately call 911


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