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HEAT STRESS PREVENTION EHS Department. Heat Stress Why A Serious Health Concern Due to the high temperatures and humid conditions EPA states that approximately.

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Presentation on theme: "HEAT STRESS PREVENTION EHS Department. Heat Stress Why A Serious Health Concern Due to the high temperatures and humid conditions EPA states that approximately."— Presentation transcript:


2 Heat Stress Why A Serious Health Concern Due to the high temperatures and humid conditions EPA states that approximately 4000 people in the US die each year due to Heat Stress

3 Heat Stress A Serious Health Concern During one heat wave in 1980 alone, 1700 people died from Heat Stress related illnesses CDC states that from 1979-1999, more people have died from heat stress than from hurricanes, lightning, tornados, floods, and earthquakes combined

4 What is Heat Stress Heat Stress is the negative physiological results that occur when the body’s natural cooling mechanisms fail to maintain acceptable body core temperature. (normally 98.6°)

5 What Causes Heat Stress Heat Equation:High Temperature + High Humidity + Physical Exertion + Low/No Air Circulation =Heat Stress Risk Inability to cool off naturally through sweating and skin evaporation

6 What Causes Heat Stress The Heat Index combines temperature and humidity to determine the human perceived equivalent temperature In Sarasota between May & September the category risk is often Danger or Extreme Danger

7 Normal Body Cooling Blood carries heat from the center of the body to the skin surface Sweat is released from skin pores and moistens skin area Sweat evaporates and carries heat off of skin Blood is therefore cooled under skin and is circulated back through the core of the body reducing internal temperature

8 When Normal Cooling Fails Heat temperature is too high for body to keep up with Muscles generate more internal heat that needs to be cooled High Humidity – reduces evaporation of sweat thereby blocking heat release Body center temperature rises Sweat depletes water in body – dehydration results

9 When Normal Cooling Fails Body cell salt balance is disrupted More blood is sent to the skin in an attempt to increase sweat and cooling which lowers blood flow (oxygen) to critical internal organs As internal temperature reaches about 103° body systems start to fail and shut down

10 Heat Stress Illnesses Minor Risk: Heat Rash (prickly heat) and Heat Fatigue (feeling tired from heat). –WARNING Medium Risk: Heat Cramps – mild discomfort to painful cramping in legs or stomach. –DANGER High Risk: Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. –POTENTIAL FATALITY!!

11 Heat Exhaustion Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, worker may appear pale and tired, may complain of nausea (vomiting may result), headache, blurred vision, dizziness, and even fainting. Not all symptoms need to be present for Heat Exhaustion to occur.

12 Heat Stroke Heat Stroke: body cooling mechanisms fail and internal temperature rises to above 103°, worker skin hot to touch (fever), sweating has stopped, hot red dry skin, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, fainting, and finally – body goes into shock. Again, not all symptoms need to be present for Heat Stroke to occur.

13 First Aid for Heat Stress Illnesses Minor Risk Do not ignore warning signs! Even minor heat stress (rash and fatigue) needs to be treated. Prevent from moving on to next stage. General Steps: For minor risk symptoms, drink plenty of cool water, take more frequent breaks in shade or AC cooled area, protect rashes from direct sunlight by use of light weight, light colored clothing.

14 First Aid for Heat Stress Illnesses Medium Risk Heat Cramps Stop work immediately Move to cooler location, shade or AC cooled building Remove unnecessary clothing to increase skin surface cooling, stand in front of fan if one is available Drink lots of cool water. Not cold, may increase cramps especially in stomach. Cramps usually result of body cell salt imbalance. Drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, etc. work well for treatment. Body needs 30 minutes to cool down

15 First Aid for Heat Stress Illness High Risk Heat Exhaustion Call for medical help (911) Immediately move victim to cooler location, preferably air conditioned. Otherwise a shaded area and fan with whatever is available to move air over the body Wet person down with cool (not cold) water. Soaking a towel in ice water and rubbing person down OK but do not pour ice-water on person. Could cause shock. Wait for medical help to arrive. Person should be thoroughly checked out by medical personnel. Should not continue work. Should not be released or left alone until cooled down for at least 30 minutes.

16 First Aid for Heat Stress Illness High Risk HEAT STROKE Get immediate medical help (911) Cooling must be immediate and aggressive Move person to a cooler area - shade or preferably AC but only if it is CLOSE. Remove all unnecessary clothing Immerse/Soak with cool (not cold) water Ice wrapped in wet towel may be placed under armpits to increase cooling DO NOT TRY TO GET VICTIM TO DRINK – LIKELY TO CAUSE VOMITING AND CHOAKING Over 20% of those who suffer a heat stroke will die.

17 Heat Stress Prevention Risk Factors There are many factors that increase a person’s chance of getting Heat Stress: Excess weight (body fat insulates) Small body size (less surface area for evaporation) Lack of Nutrition, skipping meals, dieting Out of shape (muscle must work harder – generate more heat) Previous Heat Illness New to working in Heat Stress conditions (new to Florida climate) Age (>40)

18 Heat Stress Prevention Risk Factors (continued) Diseases: Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Liver/Kidney/Lung Disease, Infections, Viruses, Diarrhea, Rashes, Sunburn, Vomiting. Pregnancy Lack of Sleep Overindulgence in Alcohol Over the Counter or Prescription Medications Low Salt Diets High levels of Caffeine of other stimulants (ex. Ephedra) Dehydration

19 Heat Stress Prevention Actions You Can Take Be aware of Heat Stress Danger Levels – temperatures above 80° and >30% humidity require caution. Reduce level of exertion in high Heat Stress Conditions – above 90° and >60% humidity. Take breaks when you feel you need them. Wear loose, light weight and weave, and light in color clothing If safety permits, wear short sleeve or sleeveless shirts, and shorts. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids, water or diluted sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade or PowerAde) On breaks, help cool down by wiping down with cool water, moving to cooler locations (shade/AC area), or using a fan.

20 Heat Stress Prevention Actions You Can Take How do I know if I am properly hydrated? - Perception of thirst not reliable - Infrequent urination and dark yellow urine is a sign of lack of hydration - Cloudy sweat which is very salty - Headaches - Skin texture – well hydrated skin plumper and firmer to the touch - Workers should drink about 6 ounces (medium sized glass) every 15 minutes

21 Heat Stress Prevention Assess Yourself and Others Do you have any of the risk factors? Do any of your co-workers have risk factors? Are you feeling any symptoms? Are your co-workers showing any symptoms? Is your supervisor aware? Do you know your first aid for Heat Stress? BE SAFEDONT KEEP THINGS TO YOURSELF YOUR SAFETY AND THAT OF YOUR COWORKERS DEPENDS ON YOU.

22 Heat Stress Prevention Employee and Supervisory Responsibilities Personal Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Learn from this training, remember it, use it on the job and at home. Employees should watch out for one another. Tell someone know if you think they need a break or more water. If you know they have a risk factor then be aware of how they are doing. If you are really concerned, then notify your supervisor. Better to be overcautious rather than take the chance of serious injury. Supervisors should know, based on weather reports and work assignments, when Heat Stress is a factor and how dangerous the risk is. On High Risk Heat Stress Days (>90° & > 60% humidity), fluids should be readily available, work should be moderated, breaks should be as needed, and supervisors should be monitoring workers more closely for Heat Stress symptoms. If symptoms are there, immediate action should be taken.

23 Heat Stress Prevention Summary Heat Stress is Preventable No one needs to get a Heat Stress Illness No one should die or experience a serious injury from Heat Stress –Please complete the heat stress prevention quiz

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