Work environments where employees are at risk of heat stress include but are not limited to: steam tunnels, smelters, mining sites, chemical plants, food canneries, laundries, commercial kitchens, confectioneries, bakeries,electrical utilities, rubber products factories, glass products facilities, brick-firing and ceramic plants, nonferrous foundries, iron and steel foundries. Employees working in high air temperatures, around radiant heat sources, or in high humidity while performing strenuous physical activities are at great risk for inducing Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps or even Heat Stroke (a medical emergency).
Heat Exhaustion. The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, vertigo, thirst, nausea, weakness and giddiness. This condition responds readily to prompt treatment. Heat exhaustion should not be taken lightly for several reasons. One is that fainting associated with heat exhaustion can be dangerous if the victim happens to be operating heavy equipment or other dangerous machinery. Also, the victim could be injured when he or she faints. Heat Exhaustion, if ignored can lead to Heat Stroke, a medical emergency which puts the victims life in danger.
Heat Cramps are often caused by performing strenuous physical labor in a hot environment. These cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating. It is important to understand that cramps can be caused by both too much or too little salt in the bodies bloodstream. Cramps appear to be caused by the lack of water replenishment. Excess salt can build up within the body if the water lost through sweating is not replaced on a regular basis. Thirst cannot be relied on as a guide to the need for water and electrolyte replacement, instead fluids must be taken in every 15 to 20 minutes in hot environments.
Heat Stroke occurs when the body is no longer able to properly regulate body temperature. This condition is caused by a combination of highly variable factors, and its occurrence is difficult to predict. Heat stroke is definitely a medical emergency. The signs and symptoms of heat stroke are confusion, irrational behavior, convulsions, loss of consciousness, lack of sweating, hot, dry skin and an abnormally high body temperature. If body temperature is too high, death can occur.
Enviro Safety Products offers many tools to combat the ill effects of working in hot environments. Some of which are Cooling Vests, MiraCool Cooling Bandanas, Hard Hat Cooling Products, Sqwincher Hydration Drinks, and Electrolyte Replacement Tablets.