Protecting Yourself from Heat Stress
Heat stress, from exertion or hot environments, places workers at risk for illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion or heat cramps.
A condition that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature, and can cause death or permanent disability.
The body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through sweating.
Affects workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. Sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels.
Avoid heavy exertion, extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these cannot be avoided, take the following preventative steps:
- Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers for signs or symptoms of heat illnesses.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
- Avoid non-breathable synthetic clothing.
- Gradually build up to heavy work.
- Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
- Take more breaks when doing heavier work, and in high heat and humidity.
- Take breaks in the shade or a cool area.
- Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
- Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.