Heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, happen when the body can’t keep itself cool. Normally the body stays cool by sweating and heat is carried away when the sweat evaporates. However, on very hot and humid days, this process is interrupted by the presence of moisture in the air that slows down the evaporation of sweat. Because the body cannot maintain its core temperature, body temperature rises and a person may start to experience the following symptoms.
- Heavy sweating
- Cool, moist skin
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle or abdominal cramps
Keep Your Cool
Heat illnesses can be deadly, but employers can ensure their outdoor workers stay safe from excessive heat. Southeastern Metals reminds roofing contractors to be sure those working in hot weather are aware of the symptoms of heat illness and how to treat them. Teach supervisors and workers that if their body shows signs of struggling to cool itself down, moving to a cooler location is the first step to prevent heat-related illness. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers these additional tips to prevent heat-related illness and fatalities.
- Rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Be aware of fellow workers.
- Modify work schedules as necessary to get used to the heat gradually.
Following these safety precautions can make the difference between life and death. For more tips to prevent heat illness in outdoor workers, visit the OSHA site.
To learn more about Southeastern Metals™, contact us at (800) 331-9966, and be sure to ask for Southeastern Metals products from your local distributor.