Monday, June 29, 2015

Stay Hydrated and Cool

When it gets really hot, evaporation of sweat is all that stands between you and heat exhaustion. That is really your ace in the hole. The body perspires and the sweat evaporates to cool you off. When you are working in a hot environment you sweat a great deal – and that is good. However, it is important to replace the water. That is why you should have lots of water available and drink water continually while working.

Weather conditions can play a big part as well. A relative humidity over 60% (pretty much all summer in Georgia) slows the evaporation process, increasing the likelihood of heat exhaustion. When the heat index exceeds 90, you need to be careful. When it exceeds 100, you need to be extra careful. Besides hydration, stay out of direct sun and seek cool shelter whenever possible. Time spent in attics should be limited and preferably only in the early morning or evening.
Failure to drink enough water can lead to dehydration. Failure to stay hydrated and cool can lead to heat exhaustion, which can be dangerous. If you continue to ignore your body’s warning signals, heat stroke can occur, which is a medical emergency. You are no help to anybody passed out somewhere. If you are thirsty and really tired – TAKE A BREAK AND DRINK SOME WATER! Finally, note that we are drinking water; NOT beer or caffeinated soft drinks. Symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are listed below.

Symptoms of dehydration include:
loss of appetite
flushed skin
heat intolerance
dark-colored urine
dry cough  

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
Muscle or abdominal cramps
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Pale skin
Profuse sweating
Rapid heartbeat

Symptoms of heat stroke include:
Throbbing headache
Dizziness and light-headedness
Red, hot, and dry skin
Muscle weakness or cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
Rapid, shallow breathing
Confusion, disorientation, or staggering

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget Android Store has the OSHA Heat Stress APP.