What is heat stress?
When heat is combined with other stresses such as physical activity, loss of fluids, fatigue or some medical conditions, it may lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death. Heat stress occurs when external factors prevent the body from naturally cooling itself down.
Heat stress is dangerous because it puts workers at risk of heat-related illnesses such as:
Heat stroke is the most serious condition caused by heat stress because it can result in permanent disability or DEATH.
When am I at risk?
For outdoor occupations like construction, road work and farming the heat source is the summer sun.
Another common heat source comes from hot or molten material which is typically found in occupations like steel mills and foundries.
Indoor occupations like laundries and restaurants also deal with high heat and high humidity due to the often warm indoor environment.
What can I do to protect myself?
Workers at risk can protect themselves through acclimatization:
There are many other things a worker can do to protect themselves while they are on the job and at risk of heat stress:
Eat small, light meals
Wear cooling clothing
Rotate out of hot areas
Drink water every 20-30 mins
Ask a doctor if your medications affect heat tolerance
Ensure scheduled breaks are taken
Did you know?
Drink water before you start to feel thirsty – by then you are already dehydrated.