≡ Menu

Heat Stress

Tips on Protecting Yourself in the Sun

  • Cover up. Wear tightly-woven clothing that block out light. Try this test: place your hand between a single layer of the clothing and a light source. If you can see your hand through the fabric, the garment offers little protection
  • Use sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays. You want to block both UVA and UVB to guard against skin cancer. Be sure to follow application directions on the bottle.
  • Wear a hat. A wide brim hat (not a baseball cap) is ideal because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, and forehead, nose, and scalp.
  • Wear UV-absorbent shades. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation

Protecting Workers in Hot Environments

  • Engineering controls, including general ventilation and spot cooling by local exhaust ventilation at points of high heat production may be helpful.
  • Cooling fans can also reduce heat in hot conditions.
  • Plenty of drinking water — as much as a quart per worker per hour.
  • Train first aid workers to recognize and treat heat stress disorders. Make the names of trained staff known to all workers.
  • Alternating work and rest periods with longer rest periods in a cool area can help workers avoid heat stress.
  • Supervisors should be trained to detect early signs of heat stress and should permit workers to interrupt their work if they are extremely uncomfortable.
  • Acclimatization to the heat through short exposures followed by longer periods of work in the hot environment can reduce heat stress.
  • Employee education is vital so that workers are aware of the need to replace fluids and salt lost through sweat and can recognize dehydration, exhaustion, fainting, heat cramps, salt deficiency, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat disorders.

Comments on this entry are closed.