According to NIOSH, heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and can be fatal if not quickly treated.
The symptoms of heat stroke include a change in mental status that can range from confusion or bizarre behavior to seizures or loss of consciousness.
Heat stress may be avoided by taking the following steps:
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton. Avoid
non-breathing synthetic clothing, and always wear a hat.
- Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE) may increase the risk of heat stress.
- Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of the work day.
- No matter how tempted you are to skip them, take more breaks in extreme heat and
humidity. Find shade or an air-conditioned space when possible to cool off.
- Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work
environments gradually or bring in relief workers for physically demanding jobs.
- Use the buddy system to keep a watchful eye on your co-worker. Recognize the
warning signs for heat stress and make sure that they move to a cool area immediately.
Drink water and low-sugar, electrolyte replacing drinks frequently, even if you are not thirsty. Consume approximately 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. By the time you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated.