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The Risk of Heat Stress

As the days become warmer, it is important to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, which occur when the body is unable to cool itself efficiently after exposure to heat stressors. Each year, hundreds of workers die in the U.S. from heat exhaustion and thousands more are affected by other heat related illnesses. Heat illness is a serious medical condition that can lead to death if the body’s core temperature is not cooled down promptly.

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.

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.

Your risk of heat stress depends on many factors:

  • Your physical condition
  • The weather (temperature, humidity)
  • How much clothing you have on
  • How fast you must move
  • How much weight you must life
  • If you are near a fan or there is a breeze
  • If you are in the sun

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 100 F, orally)
  • Red, hot and dry skin ( no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing Headache
  • Dizziness, Nausea
  • Disorientation, Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Watch out for signs of your pet overheating

  • Heavy Panting
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Glazed Eyes
  • Vomiting and Bloody Diarrhea
  • Bright or Dark Red Tongue
  • Seizures
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Weakness, Collapse
  • Elevated Body Temperature
  • Unconsciousness