On the look out for heat related illness!
It's that time of year again! It’s hot, the days are long, and there’s plenty of work to be done down here in Texas. If you’re in the Texas construction industry, the risks of heat stress should be on your radar.
Heat-related illnesses occur when the body reaches a core temperature of 104F. Body temperatures at 104F or higher can cause cellular damage. The three most common heat-related illnesses are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Understanding the severity of each could save lives.
Heat Cramps- Muscle spasms that are a result of a large loss of salt and water.
Heat Exhaustion- Salt depletion and Water depletion are two types of heat exhaustion. The most common signs of heat exhaustion are: dizziness, excessive thirst, nausea, vomiting.
Heat Stroke- The most severe of the three, comes when an individual is exposed to extreme heat for an extended period of time. The body’s temperature control system fails.
Everyone on the jobsite should be aware of the potential risks associated with heat. Upper management can provide scheduled rests, cool water, and shaded areas for their employees to get out of the heat. Workers that don’t have upper management support can and should make it a priority to schedule breaks throughout the hour to cool off, drink water, and rest.
It’s important to listen to our bodies and understand that scheduled breaks are necessary in certain work environments.