What’s At Stake
A hot work environment or summer weather can bring heat illness – in three stages. Heat cramps in leg and stomach muscles are painful but not life threatening, heat exhaustion is more serious and heat stroke is a medical emergency.
What’s The Danger
Heat cramps mean the body lost minerals through sweating. Heat exhaustion brings dizziness, sweating, headache, weakness and nausea. With heat stroke, symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion but skin is hot and dry and breathing is deep and fast. You may collapse. The body is no longer able to sweat, and temperature rises dangerously. If inner- body temperature isn’t cooled rapidly, the brain, kidneys and heart can be fatally damaged.
You can prevent heat stress by drinking plenty of water, wearing loose, light-colored clothing, taking frequent rest breaks in cool areas and properly acclimatizing yourself to the work environment.