When the body can’t keep cool, it’s time to get out of the heat!
Heat-related deaths and illnesses are often preventable. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some extreme conditions, sweating just isn't enough. When the humidity is high, for example, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Infants, children and people age 65 and over are more prone to heat stress than others. Factors that increase risk include heart disease and other chronic medical conditions, obesity, fever, dehydration, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn and prescription drug or alcohol use.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following: (1) body temperature above 103 degrees; (2) red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); (3) rapid, strong pulse; (4) throbbing headache; (5) dizziness; (6) nausea; (7) confusion; (8) loss of consciousness.
Some things you can do to relieve heat stress: (1) Go to air-conditioned environments, such as shopping malls, public libraries or heat-relief shelters; (2) Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Increase fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty; (3) Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; (4) Avoid direct sunlight; wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses; (5) Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes.
All Safety Products, Inc. provides electrolyte replenishment drinks*, thirst quenchers, Gatorade products, hard hat covers, cooling vests, Sqwincher products, cooling vests, cooling ponchos,Miracool bandanas, tie hats, cooling headbands,hard hat pads, hardhat shades and dehydration tablets to help keep your employees and provide heat stress relief. Brand Suppliers include Gatorade, Occunomix, and Sqwincher.
*To ensure you are meeting OSHA requirements and other applicable safety standards and practices, it is best to hire a professional safety consultant (www.aiha.org) or call your local OSHA area office or your state OSHA Consultation Services for their interpretation of your situation.