Most people think of the dangers of heat concerning summer heatwaves. If you work in certain industries, however, you may be well aware that heat can be hazardous no matter what season it is.
Industry-related risk factors for heat sickness can include lack of acclimatization, intense physical movement or activity and wearing clothing that does not allow the skin to breathe easily.
Heat can be dangerous in both indoor and outdoor work environments
According to the United States Department of Labor, thousands of people each year become sick due to work-related heat exposure. Unfortunately, some of these cases are fatal. The body needs to adjust to high temperatures and if you are not given adequate time to do so, the consequences may be deadly.
Work-related heat exposure can affect people who work both indoors and outdoors. Any time your body is unable to get rid of excess heat to maintain normal body temperatures, you run the risk of getting sick. If your body is unable to cool down quickly enough, your body temperature continues to rise and you may experience symptoms such as irritability, heat rash, thirst, cramping, heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
You can avoid heat-related illnesses
Fortunately, there are things you can to do help prevent a heat-related workplace injury. If you have not recently spent time in a warm environment, your body will need time to acclimate to the heat. During the first few days, while your body is doing this, you should consume extra fluids, take breaks often, avoid pushing your body too far in terms of physical activity and work shorter shifts if possible. Always be mindful of any symptoms of heat-related illness.