During the summer when temperatures are high it is really important for workers exposed to high heat during their daily jobs to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. People most at risk for heat stress are firefighters, construction workers, bakers, farmers, factory workers and people working outside. Your risk of heat stress can be influenced by other factors as well. Your age (over 65), history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or certain medications can also increase your risk of having a heat-related disorder.
Workers should understand the types of heat stress, the symptoms and how to prevent it.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are fives types of heat stress.
- Heat Stroke
- Heat Exhaustion
- Heat Syncope
- Heat Cramps
- Heat rash
Recommendations for Workers:
-Wear clothing that is light-colored, loose and made of breathable fabric.
-Drink water! Try to drink 1 cup every 15-20 minutes.
-Build up gradually to heavy work.
-Schedule the heaviest work during the coolest parts of the day.
-Take more breaks in the heat and humidity. (In the shade or a cool area if possible)
-Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
-Be aware that protective equipment/clothing may increase the chance of heat stress.
-Monitor your own physical condition and that of your coworkers.
Go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/ to learn more about heat stress and how to protect yourself.