Thousands become sick every year and many die due to heat-related illnesses. With temperatures rising, prepare your employees for working outdoors in excessive heat.
They must know the signs of heat-related illness—
- Heat Stroke is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include: confusion, fainting, seizures, and hot, dry skin. CALL 911 at any sign of heat stroke.
- Heat Exhaustion symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. Heat fatigue, and heat rash are less serious, but are still signs of over exposure.
They also must know how to handle heat-related illness. If you can,
- move the person to a shaded area
- loosen his/her clothing
- give him/her water (a little at a time)
- cool him/her down with ice packs or cool water.
But the best way to beat the heat is through preventative measures that will help avoid these issues. Tell your employees to follow these procedures:
- Hydrate every 15 minutes, even if you’re not thirsty.
- Rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Know the symptoms and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers.
- Acclimate – be sure to get used to the heat and build up tolerance. Many people who die from heat were either new or returning from a break. If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.