Heat Illness Prevention Guide for Indoors

June 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

This Heat Illness Prevention Guide establishes procedures and provides information which is
necessary to ensure that our employees working indoors where temperatures might exceed 85 degrees
are knowledgeable in the prevention and recognition of heat stress to ensure their own safety and the
safety of others.

PREVENTION
Heat related illnesses are avoidable if the employees are trained and the right actions are taken
before, during, and after working in either indoor or outdoor hot conditions. High temperatures and
humidity can stress the body’s ability to cool itself making heat illness a big concern during hot
weather months. Every employee whose job duties require them to work in the outdoors during
summer months, are exposed to elevated heat conditions and therefore are susceptible to heat illness.
The three major forms of heat illnesses are: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat
stroke can be a life threatening condition. This document will outline those actions as well as
describing the three major forms of heat illness, how to recognize them, and what actions to take to
provide first aid before medical care is provided.

Heat Cramps
Description:
Heat cramps are the most common type of heat related injury and probably have been experienced by
nearly everyone at one time or another. Heat cramps are muscle spasms which usually affect the
arms, legs, or stomach. Frequently they do not occur until sometime later after work, at night, or
when relaxing. Heat cramps are caused by heavy sweating, especially when water is not replaced
quickly enough. Although heat cramps can be quite painful, they usually don’t result in permanent
damage.
Prevention/First Aid:
Drink electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade or plenty of water during the day and try eating more
fruits such as bananas to help keep your body hydrated during hot weather. Call University Police at 9-
911 or contact your supervisor immediately if the person becomes ill.

Heat Exhaustion
Description:
Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It occurs when the body’s internal temperature
regulating system is overworked, but has not completely shut down. In heat exhaustion, the surface
blood vessels and capillaries, which originally enlarged to cool the blood, collapse from loss of body
fluids and necessary minerals. This happens when you do not drink enough fluids to replace what you
are sweating away.
Symptoms Include:
Headache, heavy sweating, intense thirst, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, impaired
judgment, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, tingling in hands or feet, anxiety, cool moist skin, weak
and rapid pulse (120-200), and low to normal blood pressure.
Prevention/First Aid:
The employee suffering these symptoms should be moved to a cool location such as a shaded area or
air-conditioned building. Have them lie down with their feet slightly elevated. Loosen their clothing,
apply cool, wet cloths or fan them. Have them drink water or electrolyte drinks. Try to cool them
down, and have them checked by medical personnel. Victims of heat exhaustion should avoid
strenuous activity for at least a day, and they should continue to drink water to replace lost body
fluids. Call —————— or 911 if the person becomes non-responsive, refuses water, vomits, or
loses consciousness

Heat Stroke
Description:
Heat stroke is a life threatening illness with a high death rate. It occurs when the body has depleted its
supply of water and salt, and the victim’s core body temperature rises to deadly levels. A heat stroke
victim may first suffer heat cramps and/or heat exhaustion before progressing into the heat stroke
stage, but this is not always the case. It should be noted that, on the job, heat stroke is sometimes
mistaken for a heart attack. It is therefore very important to be able to recognize the signs and
symptoms of heat stroke – and to check for them anytime an employee collapses while working in a hot
environment.
Symptoms Include:
A high body temperature (103 degrees F); a distinct absence of sweating (usually); hot red or flushed
dry skin; rapid pulse; difficulty breathing; constricted pupils; any/all the signs or symptoms of heat
exhaustion such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, and possibly more severe
systems including; bizarre behavior; and high blood pressure. Advance symptoms may be seizure or
convulsions, collapse, loss of consciousness, and a body temperature of over 108 degrees F.
Prevention/First Aid:
It is vital to lower a heat stroke victim’s body temperature. Quick actions can mean the difference
between life and death. Pour water on them, fan them, or apply cold packs. Call ——— or 911 to get
the person medical aid as soon as possible.

PRECAUTIONS TO PREVENT HEAT ILLNESSES
• Condition yourself for working in hot environments. Start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days (acclimatization).
• Drink plenty of liquids. Hydration is a continuous process. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty! By then, there’s a good chance that you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda as these liquids can have the opposite effect and can actually increase the level of dehydration.
• Take frequent breaks, especially if you notice you’re getting a headache or you start feeling overheated.
• Assure that adequate water and shade are available at the job site before work is to begin.
• Wear lightweight, light colored clothing when working out in the sun.
• Immediately report all unsafe conditions and/or concerns to your supervisor or area manager without delay.
Heat Illness Prevention Guide for Indoors

This Heat Illness Prevention Guide establishes procedures and provides information which is
necessary to ensure that our employees working indoors where temperatures might exceed 85 degrees
are knowledgeable in the prevention and recognition of heat stress to ensure their own safety and the
safety of others.

PREVENTION
Heat related illnesses are avoidable if the employees are trained and the right actions are taken
before, during, and after working in either indoor or outdoor hot conditions. High temperatures and
humidity can stress the body’s ability to cool itself making heat illness a big concern during hot
weather months. Every employee whose job duties require them to work in the outdoors during
summer months, are exposed to elevated heat conditions and therefore are susceptible to heat illness.
The three major forms of heat illnesses are: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat
stroke can be a life threatening condition. This document will outline those actions as well as
describing the three major forms of heat illness, how to recognize them, and what actions to take to
provide first aid before medical care is provided.

Heat Cramps
Description:
Heat cramps are the most common type of heat related injury and probably have been experienced by
nearly everyone at one time or another. Heat cramps are muscle spasms which usually affect the
arms, legs, or stomach. Frequently they do not occur until sometime later after work, at night, or
when relaxing. Heat cramps are caused by heavy sweating, especially when water is not replaced
quickly enough. Although heat cramps can be quite painful, they usually don’t result in permanent
damage.
Prevention/First Aid:
Drink electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade or plenty of water during the day and try eating more
fruits such as bananas to help keep your body hydrated during hot weather. Call University Police at 9-
911 or contact your supervisor immediately if the person becomes ill.

Heat Exhaustion
Description:
Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It occurs when the body’s internal temperature
regulating system is overworked, but has not completely shut down. In heat exhaustion, the surface
blood vessels and capillaries, which originally enlarged to cool the blood, collapse from loss of body
fluids and necessary minerals. This happens when you do not drink enough fluids to replace what you
are sweating away.
Symptoms Include:
Headache, heavy sweating, intense thirst, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, impaired
judgment, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, tingling in hands or feet, anxiety, cool moist skin, weak
and rapid pulse (120-200), and low to normal blood pressure.
Prevention/First Aid:
The employee suffering these symptoms should be moved to a cool location such as a shaded area or
air-conditioned building. Have them lie down with their feet slightly elevated. Loosen their clothing,
apply cool, wet cloths or fan them. Have them drink water or electrolyte drinks. Try to cool them
down, and have them checked by medical personnel. Victims of heat exhaustion should avoid
strenuous activity for at least a day, and they should continue to drink water to replace lost body
fluids. Call —————— or 911 if the person becomes non-responsive, refuses water, vomits, or
loses consciousness

Heat Stroke
Description:
Heat stroke is a life threatening illness with a high death rate. It occurs when the body has depleted its
supply of water and salt, and the victim’s core body temperature rises to deadly levels. A heat stroke
victim may first suffer heat cramps and/or heat exhaustion before progressing into the heat stroke
stage, but this is not always the case. It should be noted that, on the job, heat stroke is sometimes
mistaken for a heart attack. It is therefore very important to be able to recognize the signs and
symptoms of heat stroke – and to check for them anytime an employee collapses while working in a hot
environment.
Symptoms Include:
A high body temperature (103 degrees F); a distinct absence of sweating (usually); hot red or flushed
dry skin; rapid pulse; difficulty breathing; constricted pupils; any/all the signs or symptoms of heat
exhaustion such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, and possibly more severe
systems including; bizarre behavior; and high blood pressure. Advance symptoms may be seizure or
convulsions, collapse, loss of consciousness, and a body temperature of over 108 degrees F.
Prevention/First Aid:
It is vital to lower a heat stroke victim’s body temperature. Quick actions can mean the difference
between life and death. Pour water on them, fan them, or apply cold packs. Call ——— or 911 to get
the person medical aid as soon as possible.

PRECAUTIONS TO PREVENT HEAT ILLNESSES
• Condition yourself for working in hot environments. Start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days (acclimatization).
• Drink plenty of liquids. Hydration is a continuous process. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty! By then, there’s a good chance that you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda as these liquids can have the opposite effect and can actually increase the level of dehydration.
• Take frequent breaks, especially if you notice you’re getting a headache or you start feeling overheated.
• Assure that adequate water and shade are available at the job site before work is to begin.
• Wear lightweight, light colored clothing when working out in the sun.
• Immediately report all unsafe conditions and/or concerns to your supervisor or area manager without delay.

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