Occupational Heat Stress


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Occupational Heat Stress presentation for monthly safety committee meeting as AAI intern.

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Occupational Heat Stress

  1. 1. Occupational Heat Stress
  2. 2. What is heat stress?• The net heat burden on the body from the combination of the body heat generated while working, environmental sources, and clothing requirements• Increased risk from: – No breeze, wind or ventilation – Radiant heat sources, like a boiler – High humidity – Touching hot objects – Strenuous activity – Hot weather – Working directly in sun instead of shade – Using bulky or non-breathable PPE and equipment
  3. 3. Who’s affected?• Workers exposed to hot indoor or hot/humid outdoor conditions• Especially those who: – Are new hires or suddenly exposed – Wear PPE like respirators or suits – Are 65+ years old – Are overweight – Have heart disease or high blood pressure – Are taking medications affected by heat
  4. 4. Types of Heat Stress• Heat Stroke• Heat Exhaustion• Heat Syncope• Heat Cramps• Heat Rash
  5. 5. Heat Stroke• Most serious, may result in death• Symptoms: – Confusion, fainting, seizures, high body temp., excessive sweating, and/or red, hot, dry skin• First Aid: – Call 911 and stay until help arrives – Provide fluids, wet worker, use ice packs/cold compresses, fan air, move to shade, loosen clothing
  6. 6. Heat Exhaustion• Symptoms: – Cool, moist skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, light headedness, weakness, thirst, irritability, fast heart beat• First Aid: – Provide fluids, use ice packs/cold compresses, move to shade – Go to ER if worse/not improved after an hour – Don’t return to work that day
  7. 7. Heat Syncope• Symptoms: – Light-headedness, dizziness, fainting• First Aid: – Sit or lie down in a cool place when they begin to feel symptoms – Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports beverage
  8. 8. Heat Cramps• Tired muscles are usually the ones most affected, and cramps may occur during or after working hours• Symptoms: – Muscle spasms, pain – Usually in abdomen, arms, or legs• First Aid: – Rest in shade, drink fluids, wait a few hours to work – Seek medical attention if cramps don’t go away
  9. 9. Heat Rash• “Prickly heat”• Most common in hot work environments• Symptoms: – Clusters of red bumps on skin, often appearing on neck, upper chest, or folds of skin• First Aid: – Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible – Keep the affected area dry
  10. 10. Prevention• Engineering controls • Work Practices – AC, ventilation, cooling – Get acclimated/build fans, etc. tolerance• PPE – Drink cool water – Know your increased risk – Work/rest cycles to heat stress – Do heavy work in cooler – Wear light, loose fitting times of day and breathable clothing – Buddy system• Training – Take breaks in cool areas – Be aware! Know – Avoid large meals prevention and first aid – Avoid caffeine and alcohol procedures
  11. 11. Questions?