Warm Weather Injuries by lonyoo

VIEWS: 35 PAGES: 26

									Warm Weather Injuries
Sunny Weather Blues

Warm Weather Injuries
• Warm weather sometimes provides pleasant working conditions. You must be aware of the hazards that await.

Heat Stress
• Operations involving high temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, and/or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for inducing heat stress in employees. • Outdoor operations conducted in hot weather, such as construction, and hazardous waste site activities, especially those that require workers to wear semipermeable or impermeable protective clothing, are also likely to cause heat stress among exposed workers.

HEAT FATIGUE
• A factor that predisposes an individual to heat fatigue is lack of acclimatization. The use of a program of acclimatization and training for work in hot environments is advisable. The signs and symptoms of heat fatigue include impaired performance of skilled sensorimotor, mental, or vigilance jobs. There is no treatment for heat fatigue except to remove the heat stress before a more serious heat-related condition develops.

Heat Cramps
• Usually caused by performing hard physical labor in a hot environment. These cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating. Cramps can be caused by both too much and too little salt. Cramps appear to be caused by the lack of water replenishment. Because sweat is a hypotonic solution (±0.3% NaCl), excess salt can build up in the body if the water lost through sweating is not replaced. Thirst cannot be relied on as a guide to the need for water; instead, water must be taken every 15 to 20 minutes in hot environments. • Under extreme conditions, such as working for 6 to 8 hours in heavy protective gear, a loss of sodium may occur. Recent studies have shown that drinking commercially available carbohydrateelectrolyte replacement liquids is effective in minimizing physiological disturbances during recovery.

HEAT EXHAUSTION
• The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, nausea, vertigo, weakness, thirst, and giddiness. Fortunately, this condition responds readily to prompt treatment. Heat exhaustion should not be dismissed lightly for several reasons. One is that the fainting associated with heat exhaustion can be dangerous because the victim may be operating machinery or controlling an operation that should not be left unattended; or the victim may be injured when he or she faints. Also, the signs and symptoms seen in heat exhaustion are similar to those of heat stroke, a medical emergency.

• Workers suffering from heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot environment and given fluid replacement. They should
also be encouraged to get adequate rest.

HEAT STROKE
• Occurs when the body's system of temperature regulation fails and body temperature rises to critical levels. This condition is caused by a combination of highly variable factors, and its occurrence is difficult to predict. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. The primary signs and symptoms of heat stroke are confusion; irrational behavior; loss of consciousness; convulsions; a lack of sweating (usually); hot, dry skin; and an abnormally high body temperature, e.g., a rectal temperature of 41°C (105.8°F). If body temperature is too high, it causes death. The elevated metabolic temperatures caused by a combination of work load and environmental heat load, both of which contribute to heat stroke, are also highly variable and difficult to predict.

Dehydration
• One of the main causes of dehydration is overexposure to the Sun. • Dehydration is one of the most common heat diseases. At times dehydration might be dismissed as a minor "irritation", but it is something that warrants timely treatment.

• Dehydration can be defined as "Loss of water content and essential body salts (electrolytes) needed for normal body functioning.”

Dehydration
• There are basically 3 types of dehydration. Mild dehydration, which is said to set in when there is a fluid loss of 5% from the body. At this point in time, dehydration is not very dangerous and can be easily cured with re-hydration. • Moderate dehydration is said to set in when there is up to a 10% loss of body fluid. This type is of great concern and immediate steps should be taken for rehydration. • When about 15% of a persons body fluid is lost a person is considered severely dehydrated. This should be treated as a medical emergency and might even require hospitalization to bring about a normal electrolyte balance.

Symptoms of Dehydration
To enable quick and easy diagnosis, proper knowledge of some of the more common symptoms of dehydration is necessary. A person suffering from dehydration will display the following symptoms: 1. A dry mouth with sticky mucus membrane in the mouth. 2. Decreased urine output. 3. Sunken eyes 4. Wrinkled skin which may lack its normal elasticity and sag back into position slowly when pinched into a fold.

Symptoms of Dehydration
5. Fatigue 6. Dizziness, confusion, and coma 7. Low blood pressure 8. Severe thirst 9. Increased heart-rate and breathing If you experience any of the above symptoms, or observe them in a friend then you need to get immediate medical attention

Prevent Dehydration
Dehydration can strike anyone at any time. However by taking some basic precautionary measures, the harmful effects of dehydration can be avoided. 1. Always drink plenty of fluids especially when going out to work in the Sun. 2. Keep a careful check on intake and outflow of fluids. The human body should never lose more fluids than it is taking in. 3. Try to schedule all physical outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day. 4. For re-hydration a simple solution with a little salt will do wonders. Common athletic drinks like Gatorade® are useful in maintaining electrolyte balance.

Prevent Dehydration
5. Weigh yourself daily if

you use diuretics. Report to your doctor if you lose more then 3 pounds daily or 5 pounds in a week.

Sun Exposure
• Sunshine, essential for life, strikes the earth in rays of varying wavelengths. Long rays (infrared) are unseen but felt as heat. Intermediate length rays are visible as light. Shorter rays (ultraviolet) are also invisible and are further divided into the following groups: • Ultraviolet (UVA) rays are beneficial in low doses, but may increase the chance of cancer in high doses. UVBs are primarily responsible for sunburn and cancer UVCs are the shortest and most dangerous UV rays contain enough energy to damage DNA in living skin and eye cells. DNA controls the ability of cells to heal and reproduce. The ozone layer allows life to flourish by passing the longer, beneficial wavelengths and effectively blocking almost all UVC, some UVB and a little UVA.

No Tan Is A Good Tan
• A panel of dermatologists, convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1990, concluded: "All tanning is visible evidence of toxic injury." • Sunburn that continues to worsen several days after exposure may be a sun allergy. Sun allergies sometimes show up as severe sunburns and, less often, as a poison-ivy-like rash.

• Overexposure to sunlight causes premature aging of the skin, preparing the skin for later episodes of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation: "The sun is the cause of at least 90 percent of skin cancers."

Protect Yourself
• Take the following precautions when working outdoors:
 Wear protective clothing that does not transmit visible light.  Frequently apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher. Be sure the sunscreen guards against UVB and UVA radiation.  Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.  Seek shade, if possible, when the sun's intensity is at its peak-between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancers and see a health-care clinician if an unusual skin change occurs.

Melanoma
• Skin cancer can be thought of as an outdoor leisure/exercise/work syndrome, the result of periods of intense overexposure to ultraviolet light even if the ozone was not depleted. An estimated 32,000 U.S. citizens will be told they have melanoma this year, and between 7,000 and 9,000 will die when the cancer metastasizes (spreads) to vital organs. That's a 300-percent rise in the last decade. • If caught early, malignant melanoma is virtually 100percent curable. Physicians recommend a monthly skin check for the symptomatic ABCD's of skin cancer.

Melanoma

Squamas Cell

Basal Cell

ABCD
• A for Asymmetry : This is when one half of a mole or skin spot doesn't match the other half. • B for Border Irregularity : A mole or skin spot with ragged, notched or blurred edges. • C for Color : Any spot or mole that changes in color from black to brown to red, often with a combination of colors. Blue and white may appear. • D for Diameter : Any mole or spot that grows to more than a quarter inch; about the size of the end of a pencil eraser. • About one-half of all melanomas arise from an existing mole, but they can also appear as a completely new spot on the skin. Consult your physician if any mole or spot appears suddenly, looks scaly, becomes itchy, painful or tender, or starts to ooze blood.

Poison Plants
Poison Ivy • Varying from low bushes to moderately-sized trees, it can also be a climbing vine. The ornamental foliage assume beautiful tints in autumn, some of the varieties also bearing showy fruits. It grows in thickets and low grounds in North America, where it is quite common.

• The root is reddish and branching; the leaves rather large, threeparted. The central leaflet has a longer stalk, the lateral ones are almost stalkless. The leaflets are entire when young, but when full-grown they are variously indented, downy beneath, thin and about 4 inches long.

Summer Poison Ivy
• When dry, the leaves are papery and brittle, sometimes with black spots of exuded juice turned black on drying. The flowers are in loose, slender clusters or panicles, in the axils of the leaves and are small, some perfect, others unisexual, and are greenish or yellowish-white in colour. They blossom in June, and are followed by clusters of small, globular, duncoloured, berrylike fruit.

If Exposed to Poison Ivy
• You get the rash from touching the plant, or touching something that has touched it, like your clothes or your dog. • The oil in the plant, called urushiol causes the rash. • What if you know you've been exposed to it?

If Exposed
• Within a hour or so you should rinse with lots of cold water - like a garden hose. Hot water will open your pores and let the oil in. Taking shower could be a disaster! • Follow the cold water rinse with a cleansing of exposed skin with generous amounts of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. For up to about 6 hours washing with alcohol may still help remove the oil. • Alcohol removes your skin's protection along with the urushiol and any new contact will cause the urushiol to penetrate twice as fast.

Poison Ivy


								
To top