Washington State has extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. The temperature can change 20 degrees from one day to the next. Excessive heat can contribute to accidents in many ways. It becomes more difficult to concentrate on the job, and this can lead to errors in judgment. It is important to be aware of the danger signs. When wearing restrictive clothing, even a lower temperature can be dangerous.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

  • A person is dazed, staggers, or becomes dizzy.
  • A person may present symptoms of nausea or vomiting and can feel chilly.
  • The person’s face looks pale.
  • A person has a weak pulse, and their body temperature is below normal.
  • A person is sweating heavily with clammy/moist skin.

Heat Exhaustion Prevention

  • Avoid ice water while working.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, preferably water, every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Avoid heavy, fatty foods.
  • Wear light colored clothing.
  • Avoid fatigue; get plenty of rest.

REMEMBER: Alcohol consumption during off work hours can still contribute to dehydration the next day.

What to do

  • Move the person to a cooler place. Do not leave them alone.
  • Loosen and remove heavy clothing that restricts evaporative cooling.
  • If conscious, provide small amounts of cool water to drink.
  • Remember three simple words: water, rest, shade.

Heat Stroke

  • More severe symptoms of heat exhaustion.
  • Sweating may or may not be present.
  • Red or flushed, hot, dry skin.
  • Bizarre behavior.
  • Mental confusion or losing consciousness.

What to do

  • Call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
  • Keep the victim lying down with their head lower than their feet.
  • Loosen the victim’s clothing.
  • Give fluids if possible. Avoid ice water and alcohol. Salt solutions are best.

Heat illness can be life-threatening.
The body is reacting to a life-threatening situation.
Do not take chances.
Prevent Heat illness by being proactive.

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