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OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY LINKS & NEWS

HEAT STRESS

When the body cannot cool itself through sweating, serious heat illnesses may occur. The most severe heat illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke and possible death.

TIPS TO PREVENT HEAT STRESS

  • Allow your body to adjust to the heat and the work activity slowly. This usually takes about 2 weeks.
  • Drink plenty of cool water, about one cup every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol or beverages with caffeine.
  • Add salt to your diet, but avoid salt tablets. (Check with your physician about salt intake.)
  • Eat light, nutritious meals. (Preferably cold.)
  • Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton.
  • Plan ahead. Perform the heaviest work during the coolest part of the day.
  • Take frequent, short breaks in cool, shaded areas to allow your body to cool down.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses and how to respond.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Mood changes such as irritability
  • Confusion
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased or dark-colored urine
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin

What Should You Do?

  • Act immediately
  • Heat exhaustion may advance to heat stroke or death.
  • Move the victim to a cool, shaded place to rest.
  • Don't leave the person alone.
  • Loosen and remove heavy clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water, about one cup every 15 minutes, unless sick to the stomach.
  • Cool the person's body by fanning, spraying with mist of water or applying wet cloth to person's skin.
  • Call 511 for emergency help if the person does not feel better in a few minutes.

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HEAT STROKE

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Mood changes such as irritability
  • Confusion
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased or dark-colored urine
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin

What Should You Do?

  • Call 511 immediately for an ambulance!
  • Move the victim to a cool, shaded place to rest. Don't leave the person alone.
  • Loosen and remove heavy clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water, about one cup every 15 minutes, if alert and not sick to the stomach.
  • Cool the person's body by fanning, spraying with mist of water or applying wet cloth to person's skin.
  • Place ice packs under the armpits and groin area.

Pay attention to you and your partner's symptoms! Serious heat illness can affect anyone, even professional athletes. (Remember Corey Stringer!)

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