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Safety Alert - Summer Heat Alert

Safety Alert - Summer Heat Alert

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Published by sharingDZ

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Published by: sharingDZ on Apr 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This is not necessarily the resultof exposure to the sun. It iscaused by exposure to anenvironment in which thebody can no longer rid itselfof excess heat. As a result, thebody soon reaches a pointwhere the heat-regulatingmechanism breaks downcompletely and the internaltemperature rises rapidly.
Hot , dry skin which maybe red orbluish, severe headache, visualdisturbances, rapid temperature rise,
T h e victim s h o u ldb e r e mo ve d fro t h e h e a ti mme d i a tely andc o o led ra p id ly , u s u a lly b wra p ping in cool, wet sheets. 
Acclimatize workers to heat bygiving them short exposures,followed by gradually longerperiods of work in the hotenvironment.
Mechanical Cooling:
Forcedventilation and spot cooling bymechanical means
are helpful in cooling.Using power tools ratherthan manual labour keeps thebody cooler.
Wo r k e r sshould be advised to drink water beyond the point of thirst (every 15 to 20 minutes) .High-carbohydrate diet tends toincrease fluid absorption andcaffinated beverages like coffeetend to increase
Safety & Fire Department 
August 2001
For more detailed information on Heat Stress, please refer to the proceeding pages
Heat stress includes a series of conditions where the body is under stress from overheating. It caninclude heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash or heat stroke. Each produces bodily symptomsthat can range from profuse sweating to dizziness to cessation of sweating and collapse. Heatstress can be caused by high temperatures, heavy work loads, the type of clothing being worn,etc.It is important to know the signs of heat stress and the proper first aid to treat it.(See Common Forms of Heat Stress and recommended first aid on page 4).The signs of heat stress are often overlooked by the victim. The employee may at first beconfused or unable to concentrate, followed by more severe symptoms such as fainting and/orcollapse. If heat stress symptoms occur, move the employee to a cool, shaded area, give himwater and immediately contact the supervisor.
At Risk Employees
Some employees are more likely to have heat disorders than others. Younger employees andthose more physically fit are often less likely to have problems. Employees with heart, lung orkidney disease, diabetes and those on medications are more likely to experience heat stressproblems. Diet pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, and caffeinated drinks can all worsen heat stresseffects.It often takes two to three weeks for employees to become acclimatized to a hot environment.This acclimatization can subsequently be lost in only a few days away from the heat. Thusemployees should be more cautious about heat stress after coming back from a vacation, whenbeginning a new job, or after the season’s first heat wave. In short, precautions should be takenanytime there are elevated temperatures (approaching 33 degrees C) and the job is physicallydemanding.
Other Factors
Other heat stress factors are also very important. In addition to temperature, increased relativehumidity, decreased air movement or lack of shading from direct heat (radiant temperature) willall affect the potential for heat stress.
Prevention of Heat Stress – Supervisors
Allow time for employees to adjust to hot jobs when possible. It often takes two tothree weeks for an employee to become acclimated to a hot environment.
Adjust the work schedule, if possible. Assign heavier work on cooler days or duringthe cooler part of the day.
Reduce the workload. Increase the use of equipment during the summer period toreduce physical labor.
Establish a schedule for work and rest periods during hot days.
Train workers to recognize signs and symptoms of heat stress disorders and beprepared to give first aid if necessary.
Choose appropriate employees. Avoid placing "high risk" employees in hot workenvironments for extended time periods. Realize individual employees vary in theirtolerance to heat stress conditions.

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