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Preventing Heat Stress

Exposure to heat can cause illness and death.

The threat is real.

Common types of heat illnesses include heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, fainting, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, nausea, and vomiting.

Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, loss of consciousness, or seizures.

Train employees to recognize these symptoms in themselves and others.

To prevent heat related illnesses:

  • Schedule hot jobs during cooler periods of the day.
  • Hydrate - drink at least one pint of water per hour (recommended).
  • Take regularly scheduled breaks in a cool environment.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar or caffeine that cause dehydration.

For more information on protecting workers from heat stress, check out OSHA's Protecting Workers From Heat Stress Quick Card.

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH:, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;

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