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June 2010 Safety Topic: How to Prevent Heat Stress at Work

June 1st, 2010 by Treavor Bramwell




As we gear up for the summer months we want to remind all Minuteman Parking Company Employees about Heat Stress and what you can do to prevent it from happening. Over 4,000 Americans die each year do to heat related illness. Many of the heat related deaths last year where due to working in the heat or certain diseases that can disrupt your body’s temperature control mechanism.


Hear are the 3 varieties of Heat related problems and what you can do to prevent them.


1.)    Heat Cramps: When you start getting heat cramps you should get out of the hot environment and stop using your large muscles. You should also drink a lot of water to replenish your electrolytes.


2.)    Heat Exhaustion: For heat exhaustion you should get out of the heat immediately and take off any excess clothing. You should lie down with your feet up and drink a liter of water slowly. You should also use a fan to help cool your body down. If after 30 minutes you are still feeling the effects of Heat Exhaustion you should seek medical attention.


3.)    Heatstroke: If you are experiencing heatstroke you are having a medical emergency. You will need to call 9-1-1. You need to lower your body temperature if you are having heatstroke. You will want to put ice packs on your neck, armpits and groin. You also want to be covered with a wet sheet or towel and go into a room that is air-conditioned.


What can you do to prevent Heat Stress? Here are five simple steps that will help reduce your chances of having any Heat related illnesses while at work.


1.)    Pre-Hydrate: You should drink 16 ounces of fluid before you start work and drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes during strenuous activities.


2.)    Drink Flavored Water


3.)    Acclimate to the heat slowly: If you are not used to working in the heat it will take 5 to 7 days for your body to get used to the high temperature. You need to acclimate your body to the heat by adding more time outside each day.


4.)    Don’t Wear a Hat: Wearing a hat restricts heat loss through your head.


5.)    Wear loose, thin synthetic fabrics


So as your work day starts to heat up, stay cool and you will be safe.







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