Friday, September 15, 2023

How To Avoid Heat Stress

How Can You Stay Safe After A Heat Wave

Heat Stress Prevention and Response

Safety Basics

  • If the power is out, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns instead of candles to reduce the risk of fires.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not use gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, basement, garage, tent, or camper or even outside near an open window. Carbon monoxide can’t be seen or smelled, but it can kill you fast. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak, get to fresh air right away do not delay.

Tips to Stay Healthy

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw out food that got wet or warm.
  • Ask your healthcare provider or doctor about using refrigerated medicines that got warm.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Its normal to have a lot of feelings.
  • Eat healthy food and get enough sleep to help you deal with stress.
  • You can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline for free if you need to talk to someone at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Encourage Workers To Wear Suitable Protective Clothing

Workers should:

  • wear light and breathable summer clothing
  • cover their head to prevent exposure to direct sunlight
  • wear reflective clothing in a high radiant-heat situation
  • consider air, water or ice-cooled insulated clothing for very hot environments
  • avoid clothing that isnt breathable, such as chemical protective clothing. If the workers must wear it, they should pay close attention to symptoms that suggest they may be ill due to heat stress.

Supervisors should be constantly monitoring workers for signs that could suggest a risk of illness due to heat stress.

Things You Can Do To Cool Someone Down

If someone has heat exhaustion, follow these 4 steps:

  • Move them to a cool place.
  • Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  • Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
  • Cool their skin spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too.
  • Stay with them until they’re better.

    They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.

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    Help Workers Adjust To Hot Environments

    The more time a worker has to acclimatize to a hot environment, the better their body handles the heat.

    If workers have health problems or are not in good physical shape, they may need more time to adjust to hot environments.

    For workers with no experience in hot conditions, there are two ways to help them tolerate the heat:

  • gradually increase the activity level over one to two weeks
  • gradually increase the amount of time spent in hot working conditions
  • For workers withexperience in hot conditions, but who may have been ill or away from work for 9 or more days, the worker will need to gradually readjust to the heat.

    You can find more information on heat acclimatization from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Heat Stress Recommendations.

    Seek Air Conditioning Or Shade As Often As Possible

    Prevent Heat Stress

    After being cooped up inside all day, getting outdoors can be a great reprieve. But, when it’s really hot, you may considering staying indoors especially during the hottest parts of the day.

    If you plan to spend time outside, and particularly if you work outdoors, be sure to take frequent breaks that include time to rehydrate and cool down in the shade.

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    Heatstroke Is A Medical Emergency

    Every minutes delay in cooling a person with heatstroke increases the likelihood of permanent injury or death. Apply first aid and seek medical assistance immediately if you, or someone you are with, shows any sign of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.For more first aid information, visit the St John Ambulance Australia website.

    To Prevent Heat Illness:

    · Establish a complete heat illness prevention program.· Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.· Provide a lot of cold water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.· Take breaks in more relaxed, shaded areas and rest regularly.· Use fans or air conditioning to stay cool.· Use cooling pads that can be inserted into hardhats or around the neck to keep the head and neck cool. Vented hardhats or neckbands soaked in cold water also can be used to minimize prolonged heat exposure and prevent the body from overheating.· Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.· To prevent dehydration, another hazard associated with exposure to heat, drink lots of water, about one cup every 15 minutes. Drink cold water and avoid diuretics such as coffee, tea, alcohol or soda, as these can deplete the body of fluid.

    With outside temperatures and humidity soaring during the summer months, now is the time to make sure employees are taking the steps necessary to protect themselves from heat stress and heat-related illness. As an employer, please take time to download this informational graphic to generate awareness and prevention of serious heat illnesses. Also review other workplace safety topics here or if youre looking to hire new employees but dont know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs.

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    Risk Factors For Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which hinders your body’s ability to cool itself.

    The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 90 degrees or more. So it’s important — especially during heat waves — to pay attention to the reported heat index, and also to remember that the heat index is even higher when you are standing in full sunshine.

    If you live in an urban area, you may be especially prone to develop heat exhaustion during a prolonged heat wave, particularly if there are stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. In what is known as the “heat island effect,” asphalt and concrete store heat during the day and only gradually release it at night, resulting in higher nighttime temperatures.

    Other risk factors associated with heat-related illness include:

    Check with your doctor to see if your health conditions and medications are likely to affect your ability to cope with extreme heat and humidity.

    Tips To Avoid Heatstroke And Heat Exhaustion

    Dangers of Heat Stress & How to Avoid them

    Here’s what you can do reduce your risk of heat illness:

    • Exercise early in the day, before it gets too hot or after sunset.
    • Manage the intensity of your activity, and take breaks when you exercise.
    • Stay hydrated! Make sure to drink enough fluids, such as water or sports drinks, while you are outdoors. And do not drink alcohol or a caffeinated beverage before exercising, as they both can dehydrate you.
    • Put a cold pack or cool cloth on your neck, armpits or groin.
    • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothes.
    • Wear sunscreen and reapply frequently
    • Spray yourself with cool water.
    • Move into the shade or go into an air-conditioned building or car.
    • Do not leave children in cars.
    • Take a cool shower or bath.
    • Pay attention to warnings about high temperatures, and avoid being outdoors as much as possible on days you know will be extremely hot.
    • Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you see signs, take immediate action.

    Also, check on at-risk relatives and friends during heat waves to make sure they are able to stay cool and to help if needed. Especially for people who dont have air conditioning, the summer heat can quickly make living spaces dangerous.

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    Complications Caused By Heat Exhaustion

    On its own, heat exhaustion is not painted as a serious health concern. However, if it is left untreated, heat exhaustion may escalate to heat stroke, which has severe complications. These include organ failure and brain damage. Heat exhaustion can cause a serious health risk when intense physical activity is continued without addressing symptoms. Complications of heat exhaustion may include:

    • Serious injury to kidneys
    • Rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle fibers which may lead to kidney failure, dark urine, vomiting and muscle aches
    • Liver failure
    • Arrhythmias, an uneven or overly fast or slow heartbeat
    • Coma or delirium

    Tips To Avoid Heat Exhaustion And Heat Stroke

    If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.

    Weve experienced several heat waves on the East Coast this summer. It’s important that we stay cool in order to avoid heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur when your body starts to lose the ability to regulate its core temperature. Excessive exposure to heat can cause many symptoms, including:

    • Dizziness

    With heat stroke, your core temperature can rise above 104 degrees.

    In severe cases that progress to heat stroke patients can develop confusion, irrational thoughts, or seizures, which occur because the various body systems are shutting down. Its important to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms. To maintain a safe body temperature, your body has to get rid of excess heat. Read on for six tips to help you stay cool this summer.

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    Control Of Heat Stress

    Employers should reduce workplace heat stress by implementing engineering and work practice controls.

    Engineering controls might include those that:

    • Increase air velocity.
    • Use reflective or heat-absorbing shielding or barriers.
    • Reduce steam leaks, wet floors, or humidity.

    Work practice recommendations include the following:

    • Limit time in the heat and/or increase recovery time spent in a cool environment.
    • Reduce the metabolic demands of the job.
    • Use special tools .
    • Increase the number of workers per task.
    • Train supervisors and workers about heat stress.
    • Implement a buddy system where workers observe each other for signs of heat intolerance.
    • Require workers to conduct self-monitoring and create a work group to make decisions on self-monitoring options and standard operating procedures.
    • Provide adequate amounts of cool, potable water near the work area and encourage workers to drink frequently.
    • Implement a heat alert program whenever the weather service forecasts that a heat wave is likely to occur.
    • Institute a heat acclimatization plan and increase physical fitness.

    Protect Children From Heat Exhaustion

    Our Mission Fire Department is seeing an increase in Dehydration Calls ...

    The long summer days are filled with activities for kids. From camps to organized sports, kids are outside a lot. Even spending days at the local pool can increase a childs risk for heat illness. Children are at higher risk for heat exhaustion than adults because their bodies have less surface area compared to their weight. This makes it more difficult for heat to leave their skin. The best thing you can do to prevent heat exhaustion in children is to proactively make sure they do not become dehydrated.

    First and foremost, make sure they drink early and often. Cold water is the best option. When your child goes to play, send them to their activities fully hydrated. While they are playing, see that they take periodic breaks to drink something, even if they claim they arent thirsty. An appropriate size drink for a child is about five ounces if a child weighs 88 pounds.

    Signs of dehydration in children are similar to those of adults. Look for tiredness, low energy and dry lips. If a child says he or she is thirsty, they are most likely already dehydrated. Get them to sip water or a sports drink immediately. If your child becomes heat exhausted, immediately stop their play, bring them into a cool or shady area, and treat them with the same tips listed earlier used for adults.

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    What Are The Effects Of Heat Stress

    Heat stress can affect individuals in different ways, and some people are more susceptible to it than others.

    Typical symptoms are:

    • bakeries and catering kitchens
    • laundries

    In these industries working in the heat may be the norm. For others it will be encountered more irregularly depending on the type of work being done and changes in the working environment, eg seasonal changes in outside air temperature can be a significant contributor to heat stress.

    How Do We Treat Heat Exhaustion

    There are some things you need to do if you suspect someone has a heat-related illness. The following tips on how to cure heat exhaustion symptoms should be very useful in trying to prevent heat exhaustion from escalating into heat stroke.

    • Quickly get out of the heat and into a cool place. If air conditioning is not available, at least get into the shade.
    • Lay down, elevate your legs and feet so that blood will start flowing to your heart.
    • Remove any tight or extra clothing.
    • Soak some towels in cold water and apply them to your skin.
    • Take a cool bath or, if you are strong enough to stand up, a cool shower.
    • Sip, do not chug, water or sports drinks. Do not drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

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    Effective Ways To Prevent Heat Stress In The Workplace

    Heat stress generally occurs when spending long periods of time outside/inside in excessive heat. Symptoms typically include physical exhaustion, cramping, rashes, and dehydration. In the most severe cases, heat stroke can result in confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness and even death.

    Heat Stress Reports Made To Ciras

    Heat Stress

    CIRAS typically starts to take health and safety reports on the effects of heat from around May. Often the reports are about uncomfortable working conditions because of the heat. For example, a frequent topic has been the air conditioning on trains and buses, as well as in signalling and control centres.

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    Tips For Preventing Heat


    Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

    Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public libraryeven a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

    • Keep in mind: Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.

    Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when its coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.

    Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If youre not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

    • Tip: Look for sunscreens that say broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection on their labels- these products work best.


    Treatment For Heat Exhaustion

    If you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can’t get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.

    Other recommended strategies include:

    • Drink plenty of fluids, especially sports drinks to replace lost salt .
    • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
    • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
    • Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

    If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

    After you’ve recovered from heat exhaustion, you’ll probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it’s best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to resume your normal activities.

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    What Should You Do During A Heat Wave

    Stay Connected

    • Never leave infants, children, older adults, individuals with disabilities or pets in a vehicle unattended. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.
    • Check-in on older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions at least twice daily. When visiting, ask yourself these questions:
    • Are they drinking enough water?
    • Do they have access to air conditioning?
    • Do they know how to keep cool?
    • Do they show any signs of heat stress?
  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness. Act right away if you notice someone with symptoms.
  • If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay Hydrated

    • Drink plenty of fluids: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Avoid icy beverages because they can cause stomach cramps.
    • Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from your body that need to be replaced. A sports drink or a snack can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
    • Keep pets hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.
    • Warning: If your doctor limits the amount of water you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot. If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.

    Stay Cool

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