The summer season can present distinctive hazards, exposing us to high temperatures both inside and outside on the job site. When our body temperature increases, it tries to maintain its normal temperature by transferring heat through sweating. Sweat can remove heat and make the skin feel cooler. Heat-related illness occurs when our bodies can no longer transfer enough heat to keep us cool. The combination of heat, humidity and physical labor can lead to a variety of heat-related illnesses. Proper protection and planning control measures can often prevent these hazards and save lives.
Nausea and vomiting
Lay the worker down in a cool area with his or her legs raised
Remove any unnecessary clothing
Give 1 liter of water unless the worker is vomiting
Apply cool, wet cloths to the worker
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day
Avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine, or large amounts of sugar as they can lead to dehydration
Rotate work crews frequently who are exposed to the heat
Wear breathable clothing; cotton allows the skin to breathe and absorbs sweat
Take breaks in a cool or shady area
If working in direct sunlight be sure to apply sunscreen
Always follow site protocols when an emergency occurs
Keep plenty of water in office trailers and at the job site
It’s easy to get caught up in the job and forget about the importance of staying hydrated and taking regular breaks. Heat illnesses can occur quickly, and if one of us isn’t treated the situation can become life-threatening. We need to watch out for each other for signs of heat illness and report any symptoms to your supervisor right away.