The Heat is Rising… And So is the Risk of Heat-Related Illness

The Heat is Rising… And So is the Risk of Heat-Related Illness

A 52-year-old male suffered cardiac arrest after experiencing heat exhaustion. A 30-year-old female suffered dehydration after handling outdoor equipment for the first time on a hot day. A 28-year-old male displayed signs of distress– including vomiting, heavy breathing, and lack of sweating– before collapsing on a hotel floor.

A 16-year-old female received medical attention after feeling nauseous during a water break in extreme heat. A 56-year-old male suffered cardiac arrest three days after collapsing from heat stroke.

There are three factors all of these scenarios have in common. Extreme heat was involved in all incidents. Each scenario was work-related. They were all preventable.

In 2015, 37 workers died, and 2,830 suffered illnesses and injuries that required days away from work due to extreme heat. In 2016, that number reportedly rose to 94 fatalities due to heat-related illnesses.

The scenarios above are just a handful of the heat-related incidents that occurred in 2017.

Heat Related Work Fatalities 2008 – 2014 (OSHA Document)

With the summer months upon us, PLH Group encourages you to reflect on the reality of heat-related illnesses and injuries. They can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, and profession. However, they don’t have to happen.

By following proper heat safety guidelines and continually observing the needs of your body, you can provide your body the care it requires in summer’s hot temperatures.

To protect yourself and your coworkers, watch this short OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) video, and review their tips to prevent occupational heat exposure.

The resources provide warning signs of heat-related illnesses, as well as three simple suggestions to protect yourself from the heat– water, rest, and shade.

You can also download the OSHA-NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Heat Safety tool, which features real-time and hourly heat indices and risk levels at a specific location, precautionary recommendations, and first-aid information for heat-related illnesses. This can be found in the App Store or Google Play.

Don’t let the heat wear you down this summer. Take time for breaks, find shade, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.