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Heat Stress Facts Workers Need To Know

Heat stress occurs when your body gets heated up and cannot cool itself down.  It can be a variety of different symptoms ranging from a rash to heat stroke.  It is important to stay hydrated in hot places, including indoors or out in the sun.  Any time the body's deep core temperature is raised, heat stress can occur.  Factors such as body weight, dehydration, metabolism, certain medications or alcohol use can also add to heat stress, causing the heart to work harder and the muscles to lose hydration. 

How can you recognize heat stress?

Symptoms include hot skin but no sweat due to dehydration, shakes, chills, severe headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea or a combination of any of these.  Look for red rashes, sore muscles (the person rubbing calves or forearms), dry mouth and general exhaustion.  If a person does not make sense he will need immediate attention because his cognitive thought process is not working under heat stress. 

How can you treat heat stress?

Be sure to make the person sit or lay down on the ground to avoid passing out and injuring the head.  Get a cool paper or cloth towel for the neck, use cooling products on hand, wet down the clothes, put the person in air conditioning or near a fan when possible, and get the person plenty of water.  Call the emergency responders immediately.  Keep an eye on the person while you wait for help.  Try to keep work limited to short periods of time if you work in a hot environment.  Give short breaks for staying hydrated and getting items like cooling vests, cooling towels or cooling hats wet and applied to hot skin before returning to work.  Cooling kits are available too, add some to your protective equipment today.  Do not drink caffeinated beverages in the heat as it causes dehydration. 

Keeping track of your hydration levels and resting whenever possible will be the best way to avoid heat stress this coming season.  Workers in such jobs as construction, landscaping, athletics, warehouses and  fish mongers all have a high risk of heat stress. 

Come to mdsassociates.com to shop for items to keep yourself cool and properly hydrated.  We carry cooling apparel to electrolyte replenishment products such as Sqwinchers® energy drinks and powders that are added to ordinary water for extra vitamins and electrolytes too! 

+browse Heat Stress P.P.E. here

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