Safety Reminder – Keep Your Cool on Heat Exhaustion

Here are some tips on how to beat the heat and stay safe this summer from Detroit Edison’s Guidelines for Supervisors

Shared by UWUA Local 223

Click here to download the guidelines as a PDF

Guidelines for Heat Stress

Younger people in general good health and who are physically fit tolerate heat exposure with the least danger and discomfort.  Persons who are obese as well as the older worker will be in the greatest danger and discomfort during heat exposure.  If you are exposed to high heat, here are some early warning signs and symptoms of heat stress and how to prevent heat related illness.  First, establish a network with co-workers working in high temperature areas to watch one another for developing signs and symptoms of heat stress.

Prepare for Work

  • To prepare to work in high temperatures, get plenty of rest the night before
    Eat regularly balanced meals.
  • Do not consume alcohol eight (8) hours before working in a hot environment since it can cause dehydration.
  • Drink plenty of water or juices and avoid large amounts of fluids that contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes your body to require more water than usual.
  • Before working in a hot environment spend some time in a warm area to acclimate to the heat.
  • Pre-load with an electrolyte balanced liquid like QUICKICK. Drink 1 to 2 glasses prior to working in a hot environment.
  • Take frequent breaks and drink more QUICKICK as needed during and after the high temperature exposure.
  • Always work in pairs unless it’s impossible.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress and leave the area if you feel ill.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored, porous clothing much as cotton that allows free air circulation over the body whenever possible.
  • If working outdoors wear a brimmed hat.
  • When possible increase circulation of air by opening windows, use of fans and decrease humidity.

Signs of Beginning Heat Stress

Remove anyone out of the heat into a cool area who complains of any of the following:

  • Any person who complains of feeling hot and “funny.”
  • Appears disoriented.
  • Has a flush face.
  • Is covered with sweat.
  • Appears irritable.
  • Seems to stagger or be physically unstable.

Symptoms of Heat Stress

  • Persons complaining of headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Hot dry pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Confusion

Treatment of Heat Overexposure

  • Remove or loosen clothing and rest in cool, well-ventilated area or shower in tepid (not cold) water. If the nurse is in bring the person to her as soon as possible.
  • Drink small amounts of a QUICKKICK like liquid.
  • Seek medical help if you feel dizzy, faint, or nauseated after you have cooled down or if you develop muscle cramps.

Emergency measures if Someone Collapses during Heat Stress

  • Call the nurse or take to a well-ventilated area.
  • Lay down and either remove or loosen clothing and fan the body surface.
  • Do not force the person to drink liquids.

Most likely recovery will occur spontaneously and quickly if the skin is moist and cool. When the person has regained consciousness, determine if he/she was injured when they collapsed.  The person should be watched closely while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.  Send to an Emergency Facility for examination or treatment.

No one who collapses during heat exposure should be allowed to become heat exposed again for at least 24 hours.

NOTE: If the person either does not recover consciousness within 2 minutes, or he/she skin is hot and dry, flood the skin and clothing surfaces with tepid (not cold) water and fan the body surface vigorously while someone else seeks Immediate Emergency Medical Help.

Guideline Table

Temperature – Up to 90 degrees F

  • Work Time Limit – Up to Two Hours
  • Action to Take – Break and drink Quickkick as needed

Temperature – 90 degrees to 120 degrees F

  • Work Time Limit – 45 Min. to 1 Hour
  • Action to Take – Break and drink Quickkick as needed

Temperature – Above 120 degrees F

  • Work Time Limit – Limit work time to 15 to 20 minutes or use an Ice Jacket
  • Action to Take – With Ice Jacket Limit Time to 30 to 45 Minutes.

All of the above guidelines were taken from the Detroit Edison’s Guidelines for Supervisors

Click here to download the guidelines as a PDF

Please remember – safety first, always!

Sincerely,
Local 223 Executive Board and Safety Directors