Workers should beware of heat stroke this summer

As the temperatures continue to rise, the risk of heat stroke also increases significantly amongst workers throughout Maryland. People who are exposed to high temperatures at the workplace face the inherent danger of dehydration, heat stroke, heat rashes and heat exhaustion. They are also at an increased danger of being burned by hot objects or suffering from severe dizziness which could cause someone to fall. Employees who are subject to work in hot conditions should be aware of how to take proper care of themselves so they can minimize their risk of developing a heat-related condition.

Heat stroke happens when the body’s natural thermostat fails to operate correctly. When the body gets too hot, it normally sweats in order to cool down. When the body temperature raises too rapidly, the body may be unable to cool the body down fast enough. Within 10 to 15 minutes, the body temperature may raise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in some instances. Workers may become confused, lose consciousness and have seizures. They may have slurred speech and start sweating profusely.

Medical treatment should be given as soon as possible. If not treated, heat stroke can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, heart and muscles. In fact, heat stroke can be fatal in extreme cases. Workers should be put in an ice bath if possible until emergency medical professionals arrive.

Workers should avoid drinking alcohol prior to working or while working out in the heat. Employees need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during or after their work shift. Furthermore, workers should check to ensure their medications will not affect their ability to work in high temperature conditions.

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