Avoiding Heat Stress on your body takes more than a glass or two of water and definitely not a beer or cooler. We’ve all felt the heat get to us whether we are on the beach, working in the yard or on the job.
When we start to feel really bad we get something called “heat stress”. What is Heat Stress? Heat stress is a buildup of your own bodies heat and the amount of effort you are exerting at work plus the elements of the weather and also the type of clothing you are wearing.
When we feel the most comfortable is when the temps. are somewhere in-between 68°F and 80°F ( 20°C and 27°C ). This does not include the humidity ranges as well. When the temperatures are higher than that, your body’s cooling system will be affected and could cause you a host of serious health related problems. The most serious of course is death. People do die from heat stress every day.
Tips to help your body avoid Heat Stress:
Keep Cool: Try to plan the harder jobs at the beginning or end of the day when it’s cooler especially if this requires you to wear heavier work gear. Take frequent breaks out of the sun and drink plenty of water. If possible take your breaks in an air-conditioned building. Take a look at your clothing or work vest and see if there is something else that would work, but is cooler. Did you know they have a vest called a cooling vest available? See if this is an option for you at work.
Keep Hydrated: To stay really hydrated you should try to drink a cup of water every 15-20 min. even if you don’t feel thirsty When you are able to, keep water near you so you can hydrate often. If you are not used to working in the heat, take your time and build up a tolerance.
Keeping hydrated does not include Alcohol. Alcohol will make it worse. Also, check your medications to see if they react differently in hot weather. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor.
Symptoms Of Heat Stress. Everyone’s heat tolerance is different. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to heat. Some of the symptoms of heat stress may include a rash, fainting, excessive sweating, cramping, headache and dizziness. You may not recognize some of these symptoms of heat stress in yourself, rely on someone working with/near you to point it out to you and do the same for them.
Your health comes first. You can’t do a good job if you are overheated. Stay Safe and Stay Cool.
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