This is turning out to be one of the hottest summers ever! If you work outside, please bear in mind these important heat stress safety tips. Often limited English speaking employees are under the impression that safety guidelines don’t apply to them. They often work harder and take more risks, which can be a real danger for them on a scorching summer day.
There are two popular types of heat stress: heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke can happen if your body temperature rises above 103 degrees. Heat stroke is a serious problem and can lead to death. For this reason, immediate care is needed!
Heat exhaustion is very similar to heat stroke. The main difference is that the body is having trouble dehydrating to due lack of liquids and electrolytes.
Heat Stroke Symptoms:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Flushed skin
- No sweat on skin
- Loss of consciousness
If you notice someone suffering from any of these symptoms, seek medical help quick or call 911.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:
- Clammy or cool skin
- Excessive sweating
- Cloudy thinking
- Trouble standing
If you or a workmate starts to show these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
In the meantime, you can help by doing the following:
- Pour cold water on them
- Sit in a shaded area
- Remove any heavy clothing
The best thing to do, is avoid heat stress in the first place!
- Wear loose fitting clothes that allow you to feel a breeze.
- Wear light colors that reflect the sun; dark colors tend to feel hotter.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks with like soda; you dehydrate faster. Water or something with electrolytes like Gatorade is best.
- If possible, work in the shade.
- Take frequent breaks to cool off.
- Make sure all limited English employees understand these guidelines in their own language