03 Jun Heat Exhaustion
During summer months we can be exposed to heat exhaustion. Excessive heat causes accidents in many ways. It becomes more difficult to concentrate on the job, you sweat, you get tired and nervous, and begin making errors in judgment. When the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, everyone needs to be aware of the danger signs.
- Everyone is at risk
- Drink plenty of water
- Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area
- Schedule strenuous tasks for earlier in the day
- Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash
- Report those exhibiting signs of heat stress immediately to a supervisor
- Some medical conditions and medications can increase the risk of heat stress
Guide for Discussion
How to prevent heat exhaustion:
- Avoid consuming alcohol and ice water while working.
- Drink plenty of cool fluids; citrus or fruit juices work best.
- Avoid heavy, fatty-type foods.
- Wear light, loose clothing.
- Avoid fatigue; get plenty of rest.
- Replace lost body salts.
- See a doctor if you are not feeling well.
How to recognize heat exhaustion:
- A person is dazed, staggers or becomes dizzy.
- Lack of sweating
- There is a feeling of nausea or vomiting; the person also can feel chilly.
- Their face looks pale.
- There is a weak pulse and body temperature is below normal.
- A person is lying out unconscious.
What to do:
- Call for emergency medical assistance.
- Keep the victim lying down with their head lower than their feet.
- Loosen the victim’s clothing.
- Give fluids if possible. Avoid ice water and alcohol.
Additional Discussion Notes:
Remember: Both heat exhaustion and sunstroke are serious matters. In both cases, the body is reacting to a life threatening situation. Do not take chances. Should you begin to feel ill, take a break and drink some cool (not ice) water or something else other than an alcoholic beverage. Both injuries frequently cause a lack of consciousness; in our business, that can lead to a serious injury.