July 2, 2014

Three measures to prevent heatstrokes

Three measures to prevent heatstrokes

Is your organization specialized in outdoor work? Your employees will need to deal with the heat during the next few months. In demanding conditions, be careful of heatstrokes!

This phenomenon occurs when the body loses its capacity to regulate its internal temperature. Consequences may be serious. To reduce the risks, follows these tips.

1) Provide fresh water or thirst-quenching drinks like the Sqwincher

We cannot stress this enough: drink plenty of liquids! Make sure there is enough water or thirst-quenching drinks available (the recommendation is 2 liters per day per person) and easily accessible.

You can also remind your employees to avoid drinks that contain caffeine and tend to dehydrate the body.

2) Assess the risk several times a day

The risk may not be the same throughout the day. Typically, heat reaches an uncomfortable level around 11 a.m. and the temperature is barely cooling down at the end of the afternoon. Also, exposure to sunlight, as well as high humidity, makes the temperature even more overwhelming.

Remain attentive to the evolution of these elements (or assign the task to someone else) and consequently apply temporary measures, if necessary, such as:

  • Assign lighter work
  • Install sun protections
  • Arrange task rotations
  • Promote teamwork

3) Monitor the symptoms

Some of the warning signs of heatstrokes are muscle cramps, shivering, dizziness or headache. The worker should alert his supervisor and be asked to rest.

However, if confused, incoherent, aggressive or if the worker loses consciousness, it becomes a medical emergency!

What to do if you couldn’t prevent a heatstroke?

If you believe it is a heatstroke, do not take any chance:

  • Alert the emergency services
  • Carry the person to a cool area
  • Remove his clothing
  • Spray him with water
  • Fan him as much as possible
  • Give him fresh water (if conscious and coherent)

Would you like more advice on occupational health and safety during summer heat? Contact SPI!

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