Workplace Heat illness

Workplace Heat illness

Heat illness is a spectrum of disorders due to environmental heat exposure. It includes minor conditions such as heat exhaustion as well as the more severe condition known as heat stroke.
 
 
Risk Factors for Heat Illness:
         Weather conditions
       Higher temperatures
       Higher humidity
       Air movement
       High radiant heat (e.g. sunshine)
       High conductive heat (e.g. ground)
         Higher intensity and/or duration of physical activity
Personal Risk Factors:
 
         Poor physical condition
         Older age
         Degree of acclimatization
         Low water consumption
         Use of alcohol/ drugs
 
How the Body Handles Heat:
 
         The body tries to keep a constant internal temperature
         As internal temperature rises from activity, the body cools itself by:
       Increasing blood flow to skin surface
       Releasing sweat onto skin surface
         When the body can no longer cool off, mild symptoms of heat illness can quickly turn serious and life-threatening
Heat exhaustion:
         Heat exhaustion is caused by the loss of large amounts of fluid through sweating, often accompanied by excessive loss of salt.
         Cause:
Excessive loss of water and salt through sweat
        Signs & Symptoms:
       Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
       Weakness and moist skin
       Muscle cramps
       Mood changes such as irritability or confusion
       Upset stomach  or  vomiting 
 

Heat stroke:

Heat stroke is the most serious of the heat stress disorders. Is a total breakdown of your body’s cooling system. Pumping blood to the skin surface and sweating becomes inadequate and your body temperature rises to potentially fatal levels.
         Cause:
       Total breakdown of body’s cooling system
         Signs & Symptoms:
       Sweating stops-- skin is hot, red, and dry
       Mental confusion, losing consciousness
       Fainting

How to treat heat illness???


If any previously mentioned symptoms were observed;
Ø Where symptoms of heat illness are reported, trained first-aid personnel shall assess the employee. If trained first-aid personnel are not immediately available, transport the victim to nearest hospital.
Meanwhile the help arrives;
Ø Move victim to cool area
Ø Give small cup of water (if conscious and not nauseous)
Ø Loosen and/or remove clothing
Ø Mist the person with water
Ø Apply a water-soaked towel (or ice pack wrapped in towel) to head
Ø Anyone with symptoms must never be sent
home or left unattended without a medical evaluation
Ø Do not return to work until symptoms have gone away
The Heat is on, Stay Hydrated!

 
 

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