Defeat the Heat! Tips for Dealing with High Temperatures


Summer is upon us! This means outdoor activities and fun in the sun for most of us but it also means that many workers are going to have to deal with high temperatures and possible heat-related illnesses. Anyone and everyone can fall prey to heat stroke and heat exhaustion but it is especially important to keep an eye on older workers as well as new hires (who haven’t had a chance to acclimatize yet) because they are more susceptible.

Here are a few tips to help avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  1. Hydrate! Even if you don’t feel like you are losing liquids, you are. Dry heat wicks the perspiration away so that you need feel like you’re sweating but you are. You should be drinking at least 32 ounces of water a hour. Try to hydrate every 15 minutes.
  2. Avoid working during the hottest part of the day. If possible, start early and work late when the temperatures are lower and break during the middle of the day when temperatures are at their worst.
  3. Prioritize your jobs. Some jobs require more physical exertion than others so, if possible, save the lightest jobs for the time of day when the temperatures are the highest.
  4. Take Breaks… often! And while you’re on your break, rehydrate.
  5. Move around. As the sun moves across the sky, so the shaded area changes. Certain sides of the building are in the sun in the morning and shaded in the afternoon. Adjust your schedule to work as much as possible in the shade.
  6. Watch what and when you eat. Part of your bodies cooling system is the blood pumping in your veins. Heavy meals pull more of that blood into the digestion system. Eat a big breakfast and a light lunch and avoid snacking on sweet foods that will cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash.
  7. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  8. Educate yourself. Know the symptoms of heat stress both in yourself as well as in anyone working around you and take action as soon as you spot these symptoms.
  9. Don’t work alone. You may not notice the signs of heat stress in yourself. Having someone else working with you who is educated about heat illness can be crucial. If you absolutely have to work alone, make sure you have a cell phone so that you can call 911 in case of emergency.

SqwincherPurchase outdoor and heat related safety products here.

Don’t Sleep with your Cell Phone

We’re a generation that can do without our mobile devices anymore. We text, tweet, check our email, play games and a lot more with our smart phones. Many people take it to bed with them, often falling asleep with it still in their hand or on the pillow next to them. Big mistake.

Check out this video on YouTube by Fox4 news about a 13-year old girl who almost got burned while she slept.


5th Grader Invents Device to Prevent Leaving Children in Vehicle

A follow up on the subject of a couple of recent posts about children being left inside hot vehicles…

A 5th grader Andrew Pelham from AZ has invented a low tech, easy to build device to remind parents that they have a child in the back seat.

All it is, essentially is a collection of rubber bands linked together and bound in neon duct tape. One end hooks on the back of the driver’s seat and the other end hooks onto  the driver’s side door whenever a child is in a car seat in the back. When you get where you’re going and try to get out of the car the device blocks your path reminding you that there’s a child to take out of the car.

Watch the video below and then head over to to learn how to make your own EZ-Baby Saver.


Way to go Andrew! There’s a future safety professional!


National Safety Week 4 Summer Safety Tips – Things not to leave in a hot vehicle

June 2014 National Safety Month Tips Week 4

SUMMER SAFETY TIPS: Things Not To Leave in a Hot Vehicle

Many of us leave home and head to work inside the comfort of an air conditioned offices, your vehicle is left baking in the blazing sun. But what is left inside your vehicle–could end up costing you in more ways than one.

At three o’clock on a summer afternoon the temperature could be as high as 140 degrees inside your vehicle. Think about the effect that temperature has on anything locked inside the vehicle.

Lighters can explode, make-up can melt and finger nail polish remover can combust and start a fire. Pressurized aerosol or canned sprays can explode. Other products like crayons, chocolate or candy, lipstick or Chap Stick can end up making a mess. All too often expensive electronics too get left behind for convenience sake but can do extreme damage.

Aerosol cans

Aerosols, when kept in overheated conditions, can become volatile and explosive. Many aerosol cans, whatever the contents, warn explicitly against keeping them in areas where the temperature reaches 120 degrees F or more. During the summer, the inside of a car can reach 130 degrees F or hotter. At these temperatures, aerosols become over pressurized and can explode at any time.

Do you keep WD-40, hair spray, Off, Fix-A-Flat, etc. in your vehicle? If so, you might want to reconsider. The picture above is of a pressurized can that exploded in a person’s vehicle and imbedded itself in the back seat of the car. The temperature outside of the closed up vehicle was about 100 degrees F. What if you or a loved one had been sitting in that seat? Do any of your family members keep aerosol cans in their vehicles? If they do, please pass this warning along to them!


  • Do NOT leave pressurized containers (of any kind) in your vehicle where they can be exposed to sunlight!
  • You should always read and follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations that come with the can.
  • Reporting incidents such as this can help inform personnel of possible risks and dangers both inside and outside the workplace!

The incident pictured in the below pictures happened when a deodorant spray can was left in the back of the vehicle that was parked in an open space in the middle of a hot, sunny day. Without warning, the can exploded inside the car. Fortunately, no one was inside or near the car when it happened.

Certainly aerosol cans left in automobiles (especially cars with tightly-closed windows) on hot days can reach temperatures sufficient to cause them to rupture with considerable force, enough to cause significant damage to a car and potentially injure a person in or near the automobile at the time of the explosion. In that regard, the advice given in the message quoted above is sensible enough.

Medications-Prescription and over the counter medications

Heat can change the chemical composition of a medication and could make it ineffective or worse harmful if taken. If you take any prescription drug, you need to be aware that storage at high temperatures can quickly degrade the potency and stability of many medications.

Most drugs are recommended to be stored at what’s known as “controlled room temperature” — an average of approximately 77 F. Some permit what are known as “controlled excursions” — short periods to accommodate shipping, for example — at temperatures up to 86 F for shorter periods.

Medications tested in higher temperatures with negative outcomes include:

· Valium: When stored at body temperature of 98.6, a decrease of 25 percent of the concentration has been recorded.

· Albuterol Inhalers: Temperatures 120°F and above may burst the inhaler. Also, some studies have shown that higher storage temperatures lead to a decrease in the amount of medication inhaled.

· Concentrated epinephrine: Heat exposure leads to a 64 percent loss in potency.

· Formoterol (capsules that are placed in inhalers): After exposure for four hours to almost 160, the amount released from the heated capsules was not even 50 percent of those capsules stored in appropriate temperatures.

· Lorazepam: When stored at almost 100 degrees, concentration decreased by a very significant 75 percent.

· Nasonex (formoterol inhalers): Temperatures above 120 degrees may cause the container to burst.

Other medications that could be adversely effected by tremendous heats include:

· Any medicine in an aerosolized canister may burst at a heat over 120°F.

· Thyroid Hormones: Excessive heat may alter these hormones that result in a dose inconsistent with the prescribed dose.

· Insulin: Excessive heat can make the vials that store insulin to break. Additionally, the extreme heat may alter insulin, making it not comply with the prescribed dose.

Disposable Lighters

Disposable lighters are small but dangerous items to leave in the car during hot weather. A left lighter on the front seat of a car can get so hot that it exploded and hit the windshield or injure anyone inside, Warning labels on these little fire starters instruct users to never expose them to heat above 120 degrees or prolonged sunlight. As we read earlier, the temperature inside cars during the summer can easily get up to 140 degrees, making the car an unstable environment to store lighters.

Canned drinks. This is less dangerous and more annoying. I left a can of soda in the car while I was at the beach and when I came back the entire top of it had popped open, spraying half of the soda everywhere

Oh, and of course: Kids, pets, and the elderly. You’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know how dangerous it is to leave any living creature inside a car in the summer. Even if the car is parked in the shade!


The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively “transparent” to the sun’s shortwave radiation and are warmed little. However this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.

These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, and child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off long wave radiation (red) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.


  • Average elapsed time and temperature rise
  • 10 minutes ~ 19 deg F
  • 20 minutes ~ 29 deg F
  • 30 minutes ~ 34 deg F
  • 60 minutes ~ 43 deg F
  • 1 to 2 hours ~ 45-50 deg F

“Cracking” the windows had little effect Vehicle interior color probably biggest factor “Parents and other caregivers need to be educated that a vehicle is not a babysitter or play area … but it can easily become tragedy” SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS


  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. IF A CHILD IS MISSING, ALWAYS CHECK THE POOL FIRST, AND THEN THE CAR, INCLUDING THE TRUNK. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver.
  • Or place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
  • Don’t leave your pets in the car either!! Same affects can happen to them!


Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald Safety and Security for Plateau

No Child Left Behind

No, the title of today’s’ post has nothing to do with education. It has to do with children behind left behind in vehicles and dying of heat exposure.

Most of us respond with shock every time we hear of another child forgotten in a vehicle. “How can anyone forget their child like that?” we ask. However much we’d like to believe that only a bad parent would forget a child in a vehicle, the truth of the matter is that both fathers and mothers are equally likely to do it; wealthy and poor makes no difference either; neither does education or mental awareness or intelligence. In fact, if you think “It could never happen to me! I could never do something like that!” you’re more likely to do it because you aren’t going to take the precautions necessary to make sure it never does happen.

As temperatures rise, even a few minutes alone in a car can result in heat stress, dehydration and death for infants and small children. I won’t go over all the numbers about how hot it can get and what it does to a small child; I’ve covered that before on this blog. What I am going to do is to give you a few tips to try to help make sure that you never have to live through the nightmare of realizing you’ve killed your own child because somehow, even though it could never happen to you, it somehow did and you forgot your child in the car.

1. NEVER, EVER, leave your child alone in the car, even for a couple of minutes while you “pop” in somewhere. Don’t trust your memory. You could easily bump into someone you know and start talking, get distracted, fall, or have an accident. Even if you’re only popping into the post office to mail a package, take the child with you, always! Additionally everyone is now being told to call 911 if they see a child left alone in a vehicle. You could end up in a legal battle to keep your child and judges and juries are getting tougher all the time on this issue. It gets tried as “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” or “child neglect”. You could stand a good chance of having the state put your child in a foster home.

2. Put your purse next to the car seat instead of in the front passenger seat. You’ll look for your purse and remember the child in the back seat.

3. Keep a large doll or teddy bear in the car seat when the child isn’t in the seat and move the doll or  teddy bear  to the front passenger seat whenever the child is in the car seat. Seeing the doll or teddy bear in the passenger seat as you get to your destination will remind you the child is there.

4. Hang a tag with your child’s name on it over the rear-view mirror every time you put the child in the car seat. Make sure it’s big enough and visible enough to be hard to ignore or get used to. Only hang it there when the child is in the vehicle.

5. Make arrangements with your daycare worker or care-takers to ALWAYS call you if and when you don’t drop the child off at the usual time.

Most of these tips are simple and easy to implement but they can make the difference between a life filled with happy memories and a life filled with grief and regret.


Heat Stress and Heat Stroke Awareness

Heat Wave: A Major Summer Killer

A National Problem

With forecasted hot temperatures this weekend and continue to heat up and daily temps hover at or above 90°F every day the possibility of heat related emergencies increases. Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its own cooling abilities. In a normal year, more than 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one section or another of the United States. They tend to combine both high temperature and high humidity although some of the worst have been catastrophically dry. Dealing with outside elements are critical to our proper health and wellness.

National Weather Service Heat Index Program

Considering this tragic death toll, the National Weather Service (NWS) has stepped up its efforts to alert more effectively the general public and appropriate authorities to the hazards of heat waves-those prolonged excessive heat/humidity episodes.

Based on the latest research findings, the NWS has devised the “Heat Index” (HI), (sometimes referred to as the “apparent temperature”). The HI, given in degrees F, is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity (RH) is added to the actual air temperature.

To find the HI, look at the Heat Index Chart (Below). As an example, if the air temperature is 96°F (found on the top side of the table) and the RH is 55% (found at the left of the table), the HI-or how hot it really feels-is 112°F. This is at the intersection of the 96° row and the 55% column. Listed as a Danger condition.

IMPORTANT: Since HI values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, EXPOSURE TO FULL SUNSHINE CAN INCREASE HI VALUES BY UP TO 15°F. Also, STRONG WINDS, PARTICULARLY WITH VERY HOT, DRY AIR, CAN BE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS. Yes, We do have plenty of wind in our Plateau coverage areas.

Heat Index/Heat Disorders: Possible heat disorders for people in higher risk groups.





Note on the HI chart the shaded zone above 105°F. This corresponds to a level of HI that may cause increasingly severe heat disorders with continued exposure and/or physical activity.

Heat Index Table

HEAT INDEX affects on the human body
130 or above heat stroke highly likely with continued exposure
105 to 130 heat stroke likely with prolonged exposure
80 to 105 heat stroke possible with prolonged exposure

Summary of NWS’s Alert Procedures

The NWS will initiate alert procedures when the HI is expected to exceed 105°- 1 10°F (depending on local climate) for at least two consecutive days. The procedures are:

  • Include HI values in zone and city forecasts.
  • Issue Special Weather Statements and/or Public Information Statements presenting a detailed discussion of
    • Extent of the hazard including HI values
    • Who is most at risk
    • Safety rules for reducing the risk.
  • Assist state/local health officials in preparing Civil Emergency Messages in severe heat waves. Meteorological information from Special Weather Statements will be included as well as more detailed medical information, advice, and names and telephone numbers of health officials.
  • Release to the media and over NOAA‘s own Weather Radio all of the above information.

How Heat Affects the Body Human

Human bodies dissipate heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and-as the last extremity is reached-by panting, when blood is heated above 98.6 degrees. The heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. The body’s blood is circulated closer to the skin’s surface, and excess heat drains off into the cooler atmosphere. At the same time, water diffuses through the skin as perspiration. The skin handles about 90 percent of the body’s heat dissipating function.

Sweating, by itself, does nothing to cool the body, unless the water is removed by evaporation, and high relative humidity retards evaporation. The evaporation process itself works this way: the heat energy required to evaporate the sweat is extracted from the body, thereby cooling it. Under conditions of high temperature (above 90 degrees) and high relative humidity, the body is doing everything it can to maintain 98.6 degrees inside. The heart is pumping a torrent of blood through dilated circulatory vessels; the sweat glands are pouring liquid-including essential dissolved chemicals, like sodium and chloride onto the surface of the skin.

Too Much Heat

Heat disorders generally have to do with a reduction or collapse of the body’s ability to shed heat by circulatory changes and sweating, or a chemical (salt) imbalance caused by too much sweating. When heat gain exceeds the level the body can remove, or when the body cannot compensate for fluids and salt lost through perspiration, the temperature of the body’s inner core begins to rise and heat-related illness may develop.

Ranging in severity, heat disorders share one common feature: the individual has overexposed or over exercised for his age and physical condition in the existing thermal environment.

Sunburn, with its ultraviolet radiation burns, can significantly retard the skin’s ability to shed excess heat. Studies indicate that, other things being equal, the severity of heat disorders tend to increase with age-heat cramps in a 17-year-old may be heat exhaustion in someone 40 and heat stroke in a person over 60.

Acclimatization has to do with adjusting sweat-salt concentrations, among other things. The idea is to lose enough water to regulate body temperature, with the least possible chemical disturbance.

Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Elderly persons, small children, chronic invalids, those on certain medications or drugs (especially tranquilizers) and persons with weight and alcohol problems are particularly susceptible to heat reactions, especially during heat waves in areas where a moderate climate usually prevails.

Heat Wave Safety Tips

Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.

Dress for summer. Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.

Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.

Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, (2) are on fluid restrictive diets or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids


Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

(If possible)Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.

Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation for our bodies that much more difficult

Know These Heat Disorder Symptoms

SUNBURN: Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches. First Aid: Ointments for mild cases if blisters appear and do not break. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by physician.

HEAT CRAMPS: Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible. Heavy sweating. First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Pulse rapid. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting. First Aid: Get victim out of sun. Lie down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke): High body temperature (103° F. or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. First Aid: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. Move the victim to a cooler environment Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do not give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

Understanding the different types of heat

Not all heat is created equal. Understanding which type of heat you are trying to protect against is going to make all the difference between proper protection and burns.

From the Stanco catalog page 38, we get the following classifications

What kind of heat is it?

It is important to understand the types of heat in order to select the proper gloves and clothing for protection.

Radiant: Generated by a heat source. An example would be a fireplace or the sun. The materials being struck absorb the heat’s rays (it’s hotter standing in the sun than in the shade).

Ambient: The surrounding atmospheric temperature in a particular environment. Example 72 degrees Farenheit in your home; 92 degrees Farenheit on the golf course in July; 1,800 degrees Farenheit in a flaming building.

Conductive: Direct contact with hot surfaces. Example: Touching a hot piece of metal at 800 degrees Farenheit or leaning against a heat treating oven at 1,000 degrees Farenheit.