Summer heat can be more than uncomfortable; it can be a threat to your health. Follow these tips to stay safe while working in the summer heat.
Heat exhaustion occurs when a person cannot sweat enough to cool the body—usually the result of not drinking enough fluids during hot weather. Symptoms include:
- Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Body temperature rising to 101° F
- Sweaty skin
- Feeling hot and thirsty
- Difficulty speaking
A person suffering from heat exhaustion must move to a cool place and drink plenty of water to avoid a more severe heat-related condition—heat stroke.
Heat stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion. Symptoms include:
- Sweating stops
- Unawareness of thirst and heat
- Body temperature rising rapidly to above 101° F
- Confusion or delirium
- Possible loss of consciousness or seizure
Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that must be treated quickly by a trained professional. Until help arrives, cool the person down by placing ice on the neck, armpits and groin. If the person is awake and able to swallow, have them drink a small glass of water every 15 minutes or until help arrives.
Tips for Staying Cool
The combination of heat and humidity in the summer months can be downright uncomfortable and even dangerous. Stay cool by following these safety tips:
- Drink plenty of water—enough water to quench your thirst. The average adult needs to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, and even more during hot weather.
- Skip the caffeine and soda; choose water to drink instead.
- Dress for the weather. When outside, wear lightweight clothing of natural fabric and a well-ventilated hat.
- Eat light. Replace heavy or hot meals with lighter, refreshing foods. And always eat smaller meals before work or intense activity.
These tips can help your employees stay happy and healthy while working outdoors in the summer months.