Heat stress presents an ominous threat to health, as it can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening emergency. In addition, it sometimes causes heat cramps and rashes as well as serious injuries. Even people who are young and healthy can fall victim to its effects. Here are a few things you might not know about the disorder.
- The public normally associates heat stress with being outdoors, but individuals who work in hot indoor environments can also be at grave risk. These vulnerable populations include factory workers, boiler room personnel and bakery employees.
- Lack of sweating can be a serious indicator. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, slurred speech or seizures along with profuse sweating or hot, dry skin. Fatalities can result from delayed treatment. To learn more, see Six Surprising Facts about Heat Stroke.
- When traveling or entering a new environment, don’t dive into the “hot end of the pool.” When people start working in hot environments, they should gradually increase their time spent on the job. They should allow seven to 14 days for their bodies to acclimatize to the high temperatures.
- Water is not a cure-all, but it sure can help. Hydration can ameliorate the adverse effects of heat. People working in hot places should drink a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Reduce adiposity, reduce risk. Factors like obesity, consumption of alcohol and ingestion of drugs can lessen heat tolerance.
- Don’t go it alone when it’s hot out. Anyone working in the heat should have a buddy who will watch out for signs of distress.
- In a heat related emergency, minutes matter. Call 9-1-1 quickly if someone you know succumbs to the heat, passes out or experiences severe symptoms.
Hurt during a summer accident or due to challenging conditions on the job? Please get in touch with our experienced Washington DC personal injury attorneys to discuss how to obtain compensation for your damages.