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Tips on How to Prevent & Manage Heat Stress This Summer

Our body suffers from heat stress when it is unable to get rid of excess heat. Heat stress causes our body’s core temperature to rise and it increases our heart rate. During heat stress, as the body’s temperature continues to rise, a person starts to lose concentration and is unable to focus on a task, they become irritable, and lose the desire to drink water. In severe cases, heat stress can lead to fainting and even death.

Aarushi Chadha
Heat Stress
If you are engaged in outdoor activities, then you must take the following steps to prevent yourself from heat stress

People with medical conditions for which they take medications that can impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, children, and the elderly are at an increased risk of heat stress. Health and active individuals are at risk of heat stress when they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather and are exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time.

Steps for Preventing Heat Stress:

  • Wear appropriate clothing- During peak summer, it is advised to wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and somber-colored clothes. Lightweight and loose-fitting clothes help with air circulation and do not trap heat in our bodies.

  • Limit your outdoor activities- During summer, it is best to schedule your outdoor activities carefully and limit them to an outing when it is relatively cooler in the day. For instance, during early morning and evening hours. When exercising or playing sports outdoors, take breaks in shady areas to give your body a chance to recover.

  • Try to stay indoors- Try to stay indoors in a well-ventilated room to prevent heat stress. Take a shower or bath to cool off.

  • Stay hydrated- High temperatures promote sweating which leads to loss of fluids and electrolytes from our body. Not drinking water or other beverages to counteract that loss can lead to dehydration. Therefore, drink plenty of fluids but stay away from sugary beverages and alcoholic drinks.

  • Wear sunscreen- Cover every bit of exposed skin with sunscreen and wear a cap if you have to be outdoors.

Managing heat stress in the workplace:

If you are engaged in outdoor activities, then you must take the following steps-

  • Get professional training in how to detect the signs and symptoms of heat stress in a person and learn the proper way to prevent and respond to them.

  • Heat stress is a medical emergency. Therefore, it is very important to develop and follow a heat stress prevention plan. You are advised to escort the person experiencing heat stress to a cool and shady area, where they can lay down. Remove excess clothing and place a wet towel over them, while continuously fanning. Offer them water, if they are conscious and are able to swallow.

  • Make sure that water is free and easily accessible to everybody.

What are environmental health hazards and how to prevent them?

Environmental health refers to health hazards in the workplace. Types of environmental hazards are-

  • Biological hazards- Biological hazards include exposure to viruses or bacteria that can threaten an employee’s health.

  • Chemical hazards- Chemical hazards refer to any type of solid, liquid, or gas that is capable of causing immediate injury or illness to a worker and can have acute or chronic health effects. It is the role of the safety manager in an organization to mitigate the effects of chemical hazards in a workplace and provide people that deal with chemicals with proper tools and equipment. Make sure that the workplace is properly ventilated

  • Natural hazards- Natural hazards refer to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters that can injure or trap workers in a confined space. It is important for organizations to prepare themselves for natural disasters by developing action plans and familiarizing the employees with them, preparing emergency kits with flashlights, first-aid kits, and non-perishable foods, and establishing evacuation plans.

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