The summer season is quickly approaching and that means… HEAT. Heat related illnesses can cause bodily harm that can be deadly. In 2017, there were 32 fatalities in the US as a result of environmental heat exposure. The US manufacturing industry experienced 510 cases of nonfatal, and 3 fatal occupational injuries and illnesses due to environmental heat exposure. The construction industry experienced 650 cases of nonfatal, and 12 fatal occupational injuries and illnesses due to environmental heat exposure.
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments, indoors or outdoors, could be at risk of heat stress. Heat related illnesses can effect individuals differently and suddenly occur, making it tricky to recognize early symptoms. Heat related illnesses include, but are not limited to:
HEAT STROKE – is the most serious. The body cannot control or cool down its rapidly increasing body temperature. It can be deadly or cause permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
HEAT EXHAUSTION – is the body’s response to an absorb loss of water and salt. Typicall through excessive sweating.
RHABDOMYOLYSIS – is a condition associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion, resulting in rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle.
HEAT SYNCOPE – is a fainting or dizziness from prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position.
HEAT CRAMPS – are caused by low salt levels in the muscles due to excessive sweating.
HEAT RASH – is dermal irritation as a result of excessive sweating.
Injuries and illnesses are costly to our community and economy, and is taxing on employees and their families. Here are a few tips that might be helpful:
- Develop a heat illness prevention programs and implement it.
- Provide plenty of water, additional rest periods, and shade.
- Adjust work environment temperatures to cooler temperatures.
Heat related injuries and illnesses can be prevented. Be proactive, plan and coordinate early, and be ready for those hot days. Get your heat illness prevention program sizzling hot – as we can assist you with development, modification, or evaluation of your program! We can also provide training to employees. Contact us for details.