Know the signs of heat-related illness:
- Heat Stroke: Symptoms include: confusion, fainting, seizures, very high body temperature and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating. Call 911 if a coworker shows signs of heat stroke.
- Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. Heat fatigue, and heat rash are less serious, but they are still signs of too much heat exposure.
- If you or a coworker has symptoms of heat-related illness, tell your supervisor right away. If you can, move the person to a shaded area loosen his/her clothing, give him/her water (a little at a time), and cool him/her down with ice packs or cool water.
To prevent heat illness:
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
- Rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers.
- Acclimate – "easy does it" on your first days of work; be sure to get used to the heat and allow yourself to build up a tolerance. Not being used to the heat is a big problem. Many of the people who died from heat stress were either new to working in the heat or returning from a break. If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.
Share this heat safety flyer with your family, friends and colleagues who work outdoors.