Prep for Safety During a Sizzling Summer

The 4th of July is just around the corner and that means the blazing-hot “dog days of summer” are upon us.  When it’s hotter than a firecracker you can be sure heat-related illnesses will follow.  However, you can help keep your workers who are exposed to the oppressive heat safe with a few simple guidelines.

Everyone reacts differently to the heat, so understanding factors that contribute to heat-related illnesses and the subsequent increased health risks is critical (see below):

  • The type of work and exertion required to do the job.
  • The individual employee’s health condition.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being used that might trap heat.
  • Age (as we age the body retains less water for cooling).

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are the two most common heat-related illnesses.  Knowing what to do is vital to help an employee suffering from either.

First Aid Tips for Heat Stroke:

  • Act immediately and call for medical attention.
  • Move the individual to a cool place while waiting for medical help to arrive.
  • Cool the individual down as much as possible by spraying with a hose, soaking clothes in water and fanning the body.
  • Monitor breathing.
  • If the individual is unconscious, DO NOT try to give them fluids.

First Aid Tips for Heat Exhaustion:

  • Move the person to a cool spot immediately.
  • Loosen clothing and place cool/wet compresses on the skin.
  • Have the individual slowly drink some water or a beverage with electrolytes.
  • Elevate the individual’s feet 8 – 12 inches.
  • Monitor for improvement. If none, call for medical attention.

Stay cool and have a great summer!

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