What steps or measures can I put in place to reduce the effects of heat stress?
Workers in certain environments are more prone to heat stress. This includes: those who work outdoors and workers in hot workplace environments like firefighters, bakers, construction workers, agricultural workers, miners, boiler room workers, and those who work in non-air-conditioned factories. The following tips can help avoid and treat heat stress.
- The best and most effective way to keep cool is to stay hydrated. Drink eight ounces or more of water every 15 minutes when it is hot
- Schedule heavy tasks for earlier in the day
- Start your day earlier and quit in early afternoon before sun gets too intense
- Seek natural shade and make shade using umbrellas
- Wear sunblock and use a wide brimmed vented hat to block sun’s harmful rays
Know the signs of heat illness and take immediate steps to treat it. Those suffering from heat stroke will experience: dry, hot skin with no sweating, mental confusion or delirium, loss of consciousness, seizures and convulsions. When symptoms occur, the person affected should lie down in the shade or a cooler area. Elevate feet above the heart to ease blood to the brain and decrease cardiac stress. Remove work boots. Get fans going or use cold cloths to lower body temperature. Call 911 immediately if the worker becomes unconscious.