By Gene Schmitt, CSP, ARM, CHST, CFPS, Risk Control Specialist
Excessive heat affects many workers, particularly people performing strenuous work including firefighters, foundry workers, bakery workers, and construction workers. It’s important to recognize conditions and situations where heat-related illness might occur and take appropriate prevention measures. Employees should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and know how to appropriately respond.
The heat wave we are experiencing brings the risk for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Heat cramps occur when the body loses significant amounts of salts.
- It’s important to stop strenuous activity and get to a cool, shaded place.
- Drink clear juice or a sports beverage, or water with food.
Heat exhaustion is when the body loses significant amounts of fluids.
- Rest in a cool place.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Remove heavy clothing and cool the body with cool water.
Heat stroke is when the body can no longer control it’s body temperature and the core temperature rises sharply.
- This is a medical emergency – CALL 911.
- Move to a cool place.
- Remove heavy clothes.
- Cool the body with cool water and apply ice packs under the arms, to the back of the knees, and to the back of the neck and groin.
You can find more information about heat-related illnesses from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Call a member of the Murray Risk Control Team for more information at 717.397.9600 or contact Gene directly at 717.735.3035.
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