Heat Related Illness

Over-heating. Heat stroke. Heat exhaustion. Heat related illness. Whatever you call it, it’s bad. And sometimes it’s a sneaky little guy, taking you down before you are even aware. Definitions according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Heat Cramps  are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Tired muscles—those used for performing the work—are usually the ones most affected by cramps. Cramps may occur during or after working hours.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating.

Heat stroke, the most serious form of heat-related illness, happens when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that may result in death! Call 911 immediately.

Working in the heat is often unavoidable. Many of us are guilty of working longer and harder than we really should because we want to get the job done. But when working in heat we really need to pay close attention to our bodies. Heat exhaustion is sneaky and if not responded to can quickly turn dangerous.

Pay attention to your body! It may be giving you signs. Dizziness and nausea aren’t normal signs of just working too hard. Your body is trying to tell you something.

Heat related illnesses can be prevented. Take frequent breaks while working in the heat.  Find some shade or a building with air conditioning. Keep hydrated by drinking water, especially if you are working outside for long periods. If you start to experience any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion stop what your are doing, go inside and rest. Your body needs to cool down.

You only get one body, so take care of it!

#6 of the Business Blogging Challenge: #31 posts in 31 days