National Heatstroke Prevention Day

National Heatstroke Prevention Day is July 31

July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day, here are some tips to staying cool.

With July 31st marking National Heatstroke Prevention Day, employers should keep an extra close eye on employees who work outside in the rising temperatures.

While it is extremely important to watch after all employees who spend their time in the heat, research by Cal/OSHA shows that 25 incidents of heat-related illness they investigated happened on the workers' first day.

OH&S talked with Scott Humphrey, Second Vice President of Risk Control at Travelers, about preventative measures in the heat, warning signs to look for and what to do if you see someone suffering from a heat-induced illness.

Humphrey mentioned that employers with employees working outside can take the following preventative measures to reduce the chances of heatstroke. 

  • Acclimatize workers over four to seven days to help them become more resilient to heat
  • Provide workers with a supply of water and shade
  • Provide workers with protective clothing to help combat the heat
  • Increase resting periods for workers throughout the day
  • Rotate workers in high-exposure areas
  • Schedule hot work for cooler periods of the day
  • Monitor work environments for heat and make necessary adjustments 

Humphrey explained that employees and employers should look for warning signs of heat exhaustion which include dizziness, weakness, headache and blurred vision along with nausea and staggering. The signs of heatstroke, according to Humphrey, include red face, hot and dry skin, no sweating and a strong, very fast pulse.

If you see someone exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Have them go to a shady location or room with air conditioning.
  • Encourage them to lie down and stay calm.
  • Have them take frequent small sips of cool water or sports drink.
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