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What is heat stress?

If you work in an outdoor job around Prince Georges County, then you should take the time to understand what heat stress is. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that prompt attention and medical help is important. For example, if you or a co-worker starts showing signs of heat stress, you need to try to drink water that is cool in temperature; remove outer clothing; use ice bags, towels or water to try to cool yourself, or the worker down; and call 911 if you cannot find your supervisor.

Hopefully, before you reach that phase, you will have done some things to lower your risk of getting heat stressed. One of these things is to wear clothing that is loose, light colored and lightweight. Water consumption is also important and should be done every 15 minutes. If you get thirsty, you have waited too long. Additionally, you should try to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible or, if this cannot be avoided, seek shade during break times.

Your supervisor or employer should also be ensuring that you have access to shade and water throughout the time you will spend in the elements. If you are new to outdoor work, then you should be gradually introduced to it so that your body can acclimate to the difference in temperature. A training program should be in place so that you understand the facts about heat stress, the risks and how to recognize the signs. Symptoms of this condition can include dizziness, heavy sweating or no sweating at all, nausea, skin that is wet, being confused or feeling irritable, and faintness.

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