Heat Injury

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

Hot weather makes our bodies work harder--just to get rid of the heat! When two very hot days are joined with hot nights and high humidity, we have a dangerous heat wave (doc) that could hurt a lot of people.

PEOPLE AT HIGHER RISK OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS INCLUDE:
  • Older adults
  • People with chronic heart or lung problems such as asthma
  • Infants and young children (i.e. Sarah Yves Gore Child Care Center)
  • Overweight and obese people
  • People with disabilities
  • Those who work outdoors or in hot settings (i.e. Facilities Management  personnel)
  • Users of some medications: especially some drugs for mental disorders,
  • movement disorders, allergies, depression, heart or circulatory problems, and persons on low-salt diets
 BEAT THE HEAT THIS WAY!
  • Keep your working space cool! Cover windows to keep direct sun out. If you don't have an air conditioner, (i.e. dormitories) open windows to let air circulate. When it is hotter than 95 F, use fans to blow the air out of the window, rather than to blow hot air onto your body. Basements or ground floors are often cooler than upper floors.
  • Slow Down! Limit physical activity. Plan outdoor activities or exertion for the coolest parts of the day (early morning or after dark).
  • Drink plenty! Eat lightly! Your body needs plenty of water, juice, or Gatorade (but avoid alcohol or caffeine). Don't wait for thirst--drink frequently throughout the day. Avoid hot or heavy meals.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothes (long-sleeve shirts and pants can help in the sun), and add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool. Don't forget the sunscreen!
  • Easy ways to cool off include: a cool (not cold) bath or shower (works faster than an air conditioner!); a trip to an air conditioned lobby or the basement; cold wet rags applied to neck, head and limbs, or spraying yourself with a cool water mist.
  • Don't stop medicines unless your doctor says so! Take extra care to stay cool, and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.
 GET COOL OR GET HELP NOW IF YOU FEEL:

Dizziness | Headache | Muscle Cramps | Weakness | Nausea or Vomiting

CALL 9-1-1 FOR THESE SYMPTOMS:

Hot, dry skin | Confusion | Unconscious | Chest Pains | Shortness of Breath

Heat Injury Prevention - Work Planning Guidelines

 

Easy Work

Moderate Work

Hard Work

 

Heat Category

WBGT Index (F°)

 

 

Work/Rest

Water Intake (Qts/hr)

 

 

Work/Rest

Water Intake (Qts/hr)

 

 

Work/Rest

Water Intake (Qts/hr)

 

1

 

78-81.9

 

NL

 

½

 

 

NL

 

¾

 

40/20 min

 

3/4

 

2

 

 

NL

 

½

 

 

50/10 min

 

¾

 

30/30 min

 

1

 

3

 

 

NL

 

¾

 

 

 

40/20 min

 

¾

 

30/30 min

 

1

 

4

 

88-89.9

 

NL

 

¾

 

 

30/30 min

 

¾

 

20/40 min

 

1

 

5

 

>90

 

50/10 min

 

1

 

 

20/40 min

 

1

 

10/50 min

 

1

The work-rest times are determined by your supervisor.  The work-rest times and fluid replacement volumes in the table are guidelines and will sustain performance and hydration for at least 4hours of work in the specified hest category.  Fluid needs can vary by individual and exposure to full sun or full shade

NL = no limit to work time per hour.

REST = minimal physical activity (sitting or standing) accomplished in the shade if possible.

CAUTION:  Hourly fluid intake should not exceed 1 ½ quarts per hour

Daily fluid intake should not exceed 12 quarts.

FIRST AID RESPONSE:

If you suspect heat cramps:

  • Rest briefly and cool down.
  • Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink.
  • Gently stretch and massage the affected muscle group.
  • If your cramps don't go away in 1 hour, call your doctor.

If you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
  • Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
  • Loosen or remove the person's clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water, not iced, or a sports drink.
  • Cool the person by spraying or sponging him/her with cool water & fanning.
  • Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke. If fever greater than 102 F, fainting, confusion or seizures occur, dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.

  If you suspect heat stroke:

  • Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.
  • Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.
  • Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.