Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hot Weather Work Safety: Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

During these dog days of summer here in Minnesota, outdoor workers need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stress and how to treat it. Heat stress occurs when a worker's body cannot cool down quickly enough.  

Heat exhaustion can be dangerous and heat stroke can be fatal.  

The symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:

If someone is suffering heat exhaustion or heat stroke, the following steps should be taken: 

You can take steps to avoid heat stress injuries such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, including:
  • Learning the signs and symptoms of heat stress. 
  • Drinking plenty of water or electrolyte drinks. 
  • Avoiding heavy work during the hottest parts of the day. 
  • Slowing down the pace of work and taking more breaks. 
  • Wearing light-weight, loose-fitting, light-colored, breathable clothing and a hat. 
  • Taking regular breaks in the shade or in a cool area. 
  • Avoiding alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine before or during work. 
  • Keeping an eye on co-workers for symptoms of heat stress. 
  • If you start to feel ill, stop what you’re doing immediately, and take steps to cool down. Tell your supervisor. 
If you’ve sustained a heat-related injury on the job in Minnesota that required medical attention, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To learn more about your rights, call Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.


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