Avoid Heat Exposure this Summer

Hazardous heat exposure can occur both indoors and outdoors during any season and under certain circumstances can occur in the absence of heat waves. Indoor facilities with heat-generating appliances, such as stoves, boilers, furnaces, etc., can be just as dangerous and the heat and humidity generated outdoors. Exposure to extreme heat can result in illnesses and injuries including:

Heat Rash

  • Appears as red cluster of pimples or small blisters that usually appears on the neck, upper chest, groin, elbow creases and inframammary fold

  • Caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather

  • Treated by keeping the area dry, applying powder and avoiding hot humid environments


Heat Cramps

  • Involves muscle cramps, pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or leg

  • Caused by excessive sweatin

  • Treated by drinking water or consuming carbohydrate-electrolyte preplacement liquid.


Heat Syncope

  • Symptoms include Fainting, Dizziness, or light-headedness during prolonged standing or sudden rising

  • Dehydration and lack of acclimatization are contributing factor

  • Treated by sitting or lying down in a cool place and drinking water, juice or a sports drink


Rhabdomyolysis

  • Rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion

  • Symptoms include muscle cramps/pain, dark urine, weakness and exercise intolerance

  • Treated by ceasing activity, increasing hydration, and seeking medical care


Heat Exhaustion

  • Headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, elevated body temperature and/or decreased urine output resulting from excessive loss of water and salt through excessive sweating.

  • Treated by removal from hot area, frequent sips of cool water, removal of unnecessary clothing and cold compresses


Heat Stroke

  • The deadliest heat-related illness caused by the body’s inability to control its temperature due to the failing of the sweating mechanism and resulting in temperatures up to 106°

  • Symptoms include confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, unconsciousness/coma, hot or dry skin, profuse sweating, seizures, and high body temperature

  • Response includes calling for emergence medical care, moving to a cool area, removing clothing, cooling with cold water/wet towels or cloth, and circulating the air around the immediate area

Steps can be taken to reduce the chances of heat related illnesses. These include:

1. Monitoring yourself

  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses

  • Use a buddy system


2. Blocking out direct sun and other heat sources

3. Staying hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Drink BEFORE you are thirsty

  • Drink water every 15 minutes

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine

  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes

 

The below links are the references for the information in the memo:
OSHA - Protecgtion from Heat Stress
Heat Exposure
Heat Stress
Types of Heat Related Illnesses