Working in a hot environment can cause heat to build up in the body. Heat stress occurs when the body’s cooling system cannot get rid of the heat fast enough. Heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion, which is serious, or heat stroke, which can kill you.
Recognize Common Symptoms of Heat Stress:
- heavy sweating
- cramps or chills
- heavy thirst
- panting or rapid breathing
- rapid pulse
What to Do if Someone is Suffering from Heat Stress:
- Move the victim to a cool area.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Offer sips of water if conscious.
- Fan and spray with cool water.
- Get help immediately.
Protect Yourself Against Heat Stress:
- Protect yourself from sun exposure with proper clothing and sunscreen.
- Take regular breaks in the shade.
- Drink plenty of water, even when not thirsty.
- Avoid alcohol before or during work.
- Be aware that some medications increase sensitivity to heat – check with your doctor or nurse about your medications
- Get your body used to the heat slowly; slow down the first two or three hot days.
- Adapt the pace of work to the heat – take more breaks, go slower when possible.
- Try to do the heaviest work during cooler parts of the day if possible.
- Tell your supervisor immediately if you start feeling ill.
- Stop what you are doing and take steps to cool down if you start feeling ill.
Safety Training for Employers and Supervisors of Adolescent Farmworkers
Funding provided by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, grant no. 5 U50 0H008107-02
Publication #: U50 OH07544
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