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Heat Stress is a Serious Problem in the Summer

Heat Stress can send workers to the hospital or even kill them. Making all of your outdoor workers, and even indoor workers in un-airconditioned facilities, aware of heat stress conditions and symptoms improve heat safety in your facility.

1193 safety banners imagesIn most circumstances Heat stress is self-diagnosable.

A temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is life-threatening. Confusion, nausea or vomiting, and rapid breathing are some symptoms.
 
People may experience:
Whole body: dehydration, fatigue, flushing, thirst, excess sweating, fainting, inability to sweat normally, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, or nervous system dysfunction
Muscular: cramping, stiff muscles, or muscle spasms
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Respiratory: fast breathing or shallow breathing
Also common: elevated core body temperature, fast heart rate, delirium, dry skin, headache, or mental confusion
1194 safety banners imagesHeat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures, and it often is accompanied by dehydration.

There are two types of heat exhaustion:

  • Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.
  • Salt depletion. Signs include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.

Although heat exhaustion isn't as serious as heat stroke, it isn't something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.

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Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

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  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Heat exhaustion vs. heatstroke

Heatstroke is more serious than heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can quickly turn into heatstroke if left untreated. Symptoms of heatstroke may include:

  • headache
  • a very high fever of 104°F (40°C) or more
  • disorientation
  • confusion
  • bright red, flushed-looking skin

Your skin may also become parched and dry, or feel moist to the touch. Your heart may start to race. Seizures and coma may also occur. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical help.

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