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Heat Safety Tips and Resources

As temperatures rise, it’s important to be aware of damaging heat-related illnesses and take the necessary steps to prevent them. 

When the body is unable to cool off by sweating, heat-induced illnesses, such as heat rash, cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke can occur. These illnesses can be serious, sometimes even resulting in death. Factors leading to heat stress include: 

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Direct sun or heat
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Poor physical condition
  • Some medications
  • A lack of tolerance for hot workplaces or areas

Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. Dizziness, dehydration, loss of coordination, heavy sweating, headaches, and nausea are just some potential symptoms.

While it’s possible to build a tolerance of a limited amount of heat, always take preventive action as soon as possible. 

Heat stress prevention tactics include:

  • Monitor yourself and your co-workers.
  • Block or avoid direct sunlight or other heat sources.
  • Use cooling fans or air conditioning.
  • Take regular breaks in shaded areas.
  • Drink plenty of water or high-electrolyte fluids.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and heavy meals.

If you detect signs of heat exhaustion, notify a supervisor or appropriate individual with first aid training.

Remember that most heat-related illnesses can be prevented by taking appropriate precautions. To learn more about specific illnesses tied to heat stress, click here.

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