Company Name __________________________ Job Name __________________________ Date________
Although summer heat is the largest cause of heat distress
disorder, it may also occur when workers are exposed to confined areas such as
pipelines, shipboard spaces with limited ventilation, and any confined area
involving welding or cutting.
The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start,
but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial
symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, and tiredness.
Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening
medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down
and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the
symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation,
dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.
The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better
candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow
them to take frequent breaks to cool down.
3. Employees should be rotated from the exposure area to a
non-exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids
(water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Employees should not
drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) as these only increase
dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of
alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before
If an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress
disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to
rest. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical
The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention, and heat stress disorders can occur in winter as well as summer.
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