As we approach the summer it’s the time of year that Minuteman Parking Company wants to remind everyone of ways to protect ourselves from heat related illness. We work in a variety of environments and since we work outdoors we have to be prepared for the heat and what can happen if we do not take the proper precautions. What is Heat Stress? What is Heat Exhaustion? What is Heat Stroke? This month we are going to be discussing what can lead up to these Heat related illness and how we can prevent them.
OSHA states that when your body is unable to cool itself by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress or heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur, and can result in death.
What is Heat Stress?
Heat Stress: A variety of problems associated with very warm temperatures and high humidity. Heat stress is a condition marked by weakness, nausea, dizziness, and profuse sweating that results from physical exertion in a hot environment.
Factors Leading to Heat Stress:
« High Temperatures and humidity
« Direct sun or heat
« Limited air movement
« Physical exertion
« Poor physical condition
« Some Medicines
« Inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces
What is Heat Exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion: A warning that the body is getting too hot. The person may be thirsty, giddy, weak, uncoordinated, nauseous, and sweating profusely. The body temperature is usually normal and the pulse is normal or raised. The skin is cold and clammy. Although heat exhaustion often is caused by the body’s loss of water and salt; salt supplements should only be taken with advice from a doctor.
Factors Leading to Heat Exhaustion:
« Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
« Weakness and moist skin
« Mood changes such as irritability or confusion
« Upset stomach or vomiting
What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke: A severe condition caused by impairment of the body’s temperature-regulating abilities, resulting from prolonged exposure to excessive heat and characterized by cessation of sweating, severe headache, high fever, hot dry skin, and in serious cases collapse and coma.
Factors Leading to Heat Stroke:
« Dry Hot Skin with no sweating
« Mental confusion or losing consciousness
« Seizures or convulsions
How can you prevent heat stress from happening?
« Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
« Monitor yourself and your coworkers.
« Block out direct sun or other heat sources
« Use Cooling fans/air-conditioning and rest regularly
« Drink lots of water
« Wear lightweight, light colored and loose fitting clothing
« Avoid drinking Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
What to do you DO for Heat-Related Illness:
« Call 911
While waiting for help to arrive you should do the following.
« Move to a cool shaded place
« Loosen or remove heavy clothing
« Provide cool water to the person who is showing signs of heat-related illness
« Fan and mist the person showing signs of heat-related illness with water.
If you have any questions on heat-related illness please ask your manager. As the days get warmer you need to remember to take your breaks and keep yourself hydrated. If at anytime you feel that you starting to show signs of a heat-related illness contact your Manager or Driveway Ambassador for help immediately.