Heat Illnesses: How to Recognize the Warning Signs & What to do

This time of year can be harsh on construction workers along the Gulf Coast. As temperatures begin to rise, so does their risks for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat illnesses can be deadly, but luckily with the right tools, heat illnesses can be prevented.

OHC is joining the Alabama AGC (Associated General Contractors) for Heat Illness Awareness Week to help employees and employers understand the dangers of working in the heat.

Here are how you can recognize the signs of heat illnesses and what you should do:

Heat Exhaustion Warning signs:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

What should you do?

  • Move to a cooler place
  • Lie down and loosen clothing
  • Apply a cool, or wet cloth to as much of your body as possible
  • Sip water
  • If you have vomited or it continues, seek medical help immediately

Heat Stroke Warning Signs

  • High body temperature
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

What should you do?

  • Call 911 immediately, heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • DO NOT give fluids
  • Help reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or a cold bath

OHC believes prevention is better than the cure. Please take every precaution to keep you and your co-workers safe while working in the heat.
If you need immediate assistance with heat exhaustion, OHC and our team are here to help. But, if you or your co-workers have signs of a heat stroke, call 911 immediately, it is a medical emergency.

For more information on heat illnesses, read our following blogs:
5 Ways to Prevent Heat Illness
5 Signs of a Heat Stroke
6 Ways to Prevent Heat Exhaustion on the Worksite

Dr. Taylor also recommends downloading the OSHA Heat Index app – He says that is a great tool for workers to avoid heat illnesses.

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