Heat Injury and Danger On the Job
The high temperatures that are a hallmark of summer in Ohio are great for those who can head inside at the first signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Those who work outside aren’t so lucky. These workers need to stay hydrated, know the signs of impending heat stroke, and do whatever it takes to cool down – if they even can without angering their employers. All too often, employers push their workers to keep moving, despite searing temperatures and all of the risks that come with it.
Anyone who spends too much time outdoors is vulnerable to heat injury. However, the average person can head back inside their air-conditioned home and drink a cool beverage or two in order to feel better again. Those who work outside are at a clear disadvantage. They are often forced to work all day long in the hot sun, no matter how physically strenuous the work is.
Those who are most vulnerable for on-the-job heat injuries include construction workers, landscapers, roofers, and those whose job involves being near fire. Additionally, workers with health issues such as a heart condition, diabetes, kidney disease, are overweight or take certain medications, are more likely to suffer a heat injury.
Recognize the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Did you know that heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke? The latter can be fatal if it isn’t treated right away. The human body isn’t meant to endure hot temperatures, and once your body temperature rises above 104 degrees, fatal injury can occur.
It helps to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion. The first symptom to look out for is cramping. You’ll begin to cramp up as your body dehydrates. This is known as heat cramps. Next, your heartbeat will increase, and you’ll sweat profusely. These symptoms of heat exhaustion, can be mitigated by drinking plenty of fluid and getting out of the sun. If you experience symptoms of heat exhaustion and fail to drink or get out of the sun, you could end up with heatstroke. The symptoms of heatstroke include dizziness, confusion, nausea, high temperature, bad headache, and a very rapid pulse. The higher your body temperature, the more dangerous the condition.
What to Do If You Have Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke
The second you have any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, you need to seek medical attention. If it’s just heat exhaustion, drinking fluids and cooling off may help, but if you have known medical conditions, such as heart disease, you are better off going to the emergency room. In addition, if you have any signs of heatstroke, call 911 immediately.
If you’ve suffered from a heat-based injury while on the job, contact me right now and I’ll Make Them Pay!®