POSTED:

Jul 19

2019

Protection From Heat Exposure

Category: Toolbox Talks

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.

Symptoms:

• Headache
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Nausea and vomiting
• Muscle cramping
• Heavy sweating
• Dark colored urine

First Aid Measures:

• 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

How To Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses:

• 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 skin to breath 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.

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