Logan County Worker's Facing Extreme Heatwave
The Summer Solstice occurs tomorrow, marking the official start of summer. While summer is loved by many in Ohio, anyone out in the elements should take extra precautions during the long hot days. Most employees who work in construction, landscaping, farming, and many other industries do not have the option to work from home or from a comfy air-conditioned office so keeping them knowledgeable about heat related illness is the best way to keep them safe. Here are the most common illnesses caused by heat and what to do if an employee is showing symptoms:
Red patches that are usually located on the neck, chest, groin and in elbow creases and contain small pimple like blisters. This is not life threatening but treatment should include staying in a cool, dry place, keeping the rash dry, and using a power (like baby powder) to soothe the rash.
While most sunburns can be treated at home a severe sunburn can result in hospitalization. Sunburns make the skin painful, red, and warm some even resulting in blisters. Treatment for sunburn include staying out of the sun until the burn heals, taking cool baths or placing cool cloths on skin, or using moisturizing lotions and aloe on affected areas. One should never pop a blister from a sunburn.
Heat cramps cause muscle pain or spasms, and heavy sweating during exercise or manual labor. They can usually be fixed by stopping physical activity and moving to a cool place, drinking water or a sports drink and simply waiting for the pain to stop. Seek medical help if the cramps last longer then 1 hour, or you have heart problems.
Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, fast but weak pulse, nausea, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, cold, pale, clammy skin, and fainting. Heat exhaustion can usually be treated by moving to a cool place, sipping water, loosening clothing, and placing cool cloths on skin. Seek medical help if you experience vomiting, your symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour.
This is the most dangerous of the heat related illnesses and should be treated as such. People experiencing a heat stroke will have a high body temperature (103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) fast and strong pulse, hot, red, dry, or damp skin, confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea, or lose consciousness. Call 9-1-1 right away, while waiting for emergency services you can move the person to a cooler place and place cool cloths on skin to bring temperature down. You should never give someone experiencing a heat stroke anything to drink.
When you or your employees are working outside in this extreme heat remember to always drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks since these can dehydrate you more quickly. Try to schedule labor intensive jobs for the early morning or late evening to beat mid-day heat. Use a wide brimmed hat to keep rays off and loose, lightweight clothing to keep cool. Wear and reapply sunscreen as directed to protect from sunburns. Try to spend time indoors with A/C during breaks and after work if possible. Always encourage co-workers to rest and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Spending a few moments with your crews to go over some of these tips could be a potentially life saving conversation, so please don’t hesitate.
Wishing you all a safe and cool summer from your friends at SERVPRO of Central Auglaize/Hardin/Logan Counties.