Protect Yourself in the Heat
A message from your Safety and Health Committee:
Summer is fast approaching and with summer obviously we see hot temperatures. It is important that when we are working in high temperatures we are able to recognize heat disorder symptoms.
SUNBURN: Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches.
First Aid: Ointments for mild cases if blisters appear and do not break. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by physician.
HEAT CRAMPS: Painful spasms usually in the muscles of legs and abdomen with heavy sweating.
First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.
HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, clammy skin; thready pulse; fainting and vomiting but may have normal temperature.
First Aid: Get victim out of sun. Once inside, the person should lay down and loosen his or her clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106°F or higher), hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness.
First Aid: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY! DELAY CAN BE FATAL!
While waiting for emergency assistance, move the victim to a cooler environment reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do NOT give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
It is important that you protect yourself!
· Know and report early signs and symptoms.
· Drink water frequently.
· Take Breaks in cool, shaded areas.
· Wear light-colored, loose-fitting Clothing
· Report problems with heat, Air Conditioning or drinking water
Keep in mind that even though no OSHA standard exists on heat breaks, a safe workplace is your right.
Source: NOAA and the TWU International Health and Safety Task Force