www.AustalWorkers.com

Heat Related Injury

With temperatures now soaring into the 90s and extremely high humidity, everyone should be concerned about the effects of heat related injury. It is important that you monitor your work area, protect yourself and look out for your co-workers. Heat Stress and Heat Stroke should not be taken lightly. Severe complications, including death can result from heat related injuries. In addition, heat cramps and heat rash can present challenges as well.

Ask your safety team, supervisors and formen for the following: 

  • Ventilation fans to provide air circulation in all work area.
  • Plenty of cool water should be available in close proximity to all work areas. You should drink small amounts of water frequently to maintain proper hydration.
  • Frequent rest periods with water should be scheduled to allow your body to cool down in an air conditioned or cool area where air is being circulated.
  • All workers should be trained about preventing and the effects of heat related injuries.

Quick Fact Information from OSHA:

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
• Headache, dizziness, or fainting
• Weakness and wet skin
• Irritability or confusion
• Thirst, nausea, or vomiting


Symptoms of Heat Stroke
• May be confused, unable to think clearly, pass out, collapse, or have seizures (fits)
• May stop sweating

To Prevent Heat Illness, Your Employer Should
• Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.
• Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.

Please review the OSHA Quick Fact Card and the OSHA Heat Stress Fact Sheet for futher details.

Heat Stress

Exposure to heat can cause illness and death. The most serious heat illness is heat stroke. Other heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided.

There are precautions your employer should take any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.

Risk Factors for Heat Illness

  • High temperature and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind
  • Low liquid intake
  • Heavy physical labor
  • Waterproof clothing
  • No recent exposure to hot workplaces Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Headache, dizziness, or fainting
  • Weakness and wet skin
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Thirst, nausea, or vomiting

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

  • May be confused, unable to think clearly, pass out, collapse, or have seizures (fits)
  • May stop sweating

To Prevent Heat Illness, Your Employer Should:

  • Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.
  • Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.
  • Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or airconditioned areas.
  • Routinely check workers who are at risk of heat stress due to protective clothing and high temperature.
  • Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.

HowYou Can Protect Yourself and Others

  • Know signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system.
  • Block out direct sun and other heat sources.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink often and BEFORE you are thirsty. Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loosefitting clothes.

What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the Heat

  • Call a supervisor for help. If the supervisor is not available, call 911.
  • Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
  • Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.
  • Remove outer clothing.
  • Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).
  • Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink.
  • IF THE WORKER IS NOT ALERT or seems confused, this may be a heat stroke. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and apply ice as soon as possible.


If you have any questions or concerns, call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

More Information on Heat Stress

OSHA Heat Training Guide (pdf)

OSHA Stress Chart (pdf)

OSHA Heat Stress Fact Sheet (pdf)

OSHA Heat Stress Quick Cards (pdf)


 

Follow Us!

www.AustalWorkers.com Logo

Sign Up
Email:
Password:
Remember me