Facilities Services, PMCS, and TRecs
National Safety Month June 2012
Heat Stress Overview
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot
environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to
extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and
injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat
exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also
increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in
sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.
Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with
hot surfaces or steam.
Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and
workers in hot environments. Workers at greater risk of heat
stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are
overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or
take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employees
need to understand what heat stress is, how it affects their
health and safety, and how it can be prevented.
Types Symptoms First Aid
A red cluster of pimples or small Work in a cooler, less humid environment.
blisters on the skin surface Keep the affected area as dry as possible.
Use topical powders that absorb excess
moisture and increase comfort.
Muscle pain or spasms in the Recline in a cool spot. Drink a sports beverage
abdomen or the lower extremities or a clear juice. Refrain from strenuous activity
Heat for a few hours. Seek medical attention for any
Cramps victim who has heart problems, is on a low
sodium diet, or does not have relief from the
cramps within an hour.
Heavy sweating; extreme fatigue; Move the victim to a cool, shaded area. Have
dizziness and confusion; nausea; the victim drink plenty of water and shower
clammy, moist skin; muscle cramps; him or her with cool water.
pale or flushed complexion; quick
and shallow breathing
Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; Call 911 and contact your supervisor. Move
hallucinations; chills; throbbing the victim to a cool, shaded area. Cool the
headache; high body temperature; victim using methods such as soaking or
confusion, dizziness, and slurred spraying clothes with water, or fanning his or
speech her body.
Page 1 Created by: Laura Recoder, Bob
Broussard, Michael Williamson
How to Know When You’re HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S TOO HOT?
Unlike a car, there is no button that lights Risk Level
up when you are becoming overheated.
Less than Lower Basic heat safety
However, there are many signs that 91°F (Caution) and planning
should not be ignored. When your body
gets too hot for too long, heat exhaustion 91°F to
Moderate precautions and
Exposure to high temperatures over a Additional
long period of time without the proper High precautions to
replacement of fluids can cause the body
to become overwhelmed. When this Greater Triggers even more
happens, your body starts producing than aggressive
115°F protective measures
more heat than it can release and heat
exhaustion occurs. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/index.html
Protect Yourself from Heat Stress
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing
such as cotton. Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
Gradually build up to heavy work.
Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity. Take
breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
How to Cool Down Properly
Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you
The best way is to find a cool, shady never become thirsty.
place if you must remain outside, or go Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts
indoors into the air conditioning. of sugar.
Be aware that protective clothing or personal
Once you are out of the heat, rehydrate protective equipment (PPE) may increase the risk of
yourself with cool water (stay away from heat stress.
ice cold water) or sports drinks. You can Monitor your physical condition and that of your
also cool off by misting yourself with coworkers.
The goal is to get fluids back into your
body and get your body temperature
down so that your heat exhaustion does
not turn into heat stroke, which is far