July 2, 2012
As temperatures rise, so does the chance of those working in areas susceptible to high heat conditions of becoming ill. To prevent heat-related work injuries and illnesses, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) suggests employers and employees be proactive and take safety precautions now and be aware of factors that can lead to heat stress; the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke; ways to prevent heat stress; and, what can be done for heat-related illnesses.
Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, according to the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which can be deadly.
ASSE warns that everyone should be cautious when their body is unable to cool itself by sweating. According to OSHA, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress or exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur, and can result in death. Body temperatures can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Factors leading to these conditions include high temperatures; being in direct sun or heat; limited air movement; physical exertion; poor physical condition; some medicines; using bulky protective clothing and equipment; and, inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces.
Visit ASSE’s site, www.asse.org, for safety tips and to read the full press release.