Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Knowing how to prevent, spot, and treat heat stroke is vital for a safe workplace. These tips can help.
1Control work conditions and practices
Help avoid heat stroke by keeping plenty of cool water nearby and encouraging workers to drink water about every 15 minutes. Have outdoor workers take frequent breaks in shaded areas or in air-conditioned rooms. Keep indoor spaces cool and well ventilated.
Check your area's UV (ultraviolet) index forecast and take heat notices seriously. Save outdoor tasks or heavier work for the early morning when it’s cooler. Establish a work/rest cycle, and rotate employees to lessen their heat exposure.
Before beginning any work in the heat, train employees and supervisors to watch out for signs of heat related illness. Train supervisors on how to prepare workers to work in hot and humid conditions and how to react when a worker shows signs of a heat stroke.
4Watch for signs of heat stroke
Employees that work outdoors in direct sun or in a hot or humid indoor setting without much air flow should be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke. Employees should be able to recognize and watch for these symptoms in each other: skin that appears hot and red; failure to sweat; a fast, strong pulse; dizziness; loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and headache.
5Do not delay medical treatment
Once you see signs of heat stroke, call 9-1-1 for medical help right away. Move the person to a cooler area, loosen or remove outer clothing, and apply cooling packs to the skin. Having an emergency plan in place ahead of time can save lives.