Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Heat related illness prevention

Subject: Heat Illness Prevention 2016 It’s summer and with the increasing summer heat, it is important to review the precautions to prevent heat related illnesses, which can occur when the body is unable to cool itself efficiently. Heat illnesses are serious medical conditions that can lead to death if the body’s core temperature is not cooled down promptly. The risks are particularly high for individuals who work outdoors. Personal factors such as chronic health conditions, age, prescription medications, etc. can also inhibit the body’s ability to cool itself during warm weather. Employees should know the illness symptoms and prevention methods when working outside 1. Heat Illness Symptoms Early Symptoms – Heat Exhaustion • Fatigue • Heavy sweating • Headache, Cramps, Dizziness • High pulse rate • Nausea or vomiting First Aid / Emergency What to do • Move to cooler location • Lie down, loosen clothing • Apply cool, wet cloths • Sip water • If vomiting, seek medical attention immediately Life-threatening Symptoms – Heat Stroke • High body temperature (above 103 F) • Red, hot, and dry skin • Confusion • Convulsions • Fainting First Aid / Emergency What to do • Call 911 immediately – this is medical emergency • Move to cooler location • Reduce body temp with cool cloths, ice, bath, etc. • Do NOT give fluids 2. Heat Illness Prevention Measures • Drink water frequently, every 15 minutes. Drink one quart (4 cups) of water per hour while in the heat. Don’t wait until you get thirsty. • Wear light-weight/loose-fitting clothing. Include bandana; UV-absorbent sunglasses; and a wide brimmed hat or cap. • Take frequent breaks. Five (5) minute breaks in the cool shade or inside an air-conditioned building will allow the body to recover quickly from heat stress. • Wear sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays. • Be mindful of medication side effects. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if there are any adverse effects to being in the sun/heat while on prescription medication. Posters have been placed in several facilities on main campus, and are available on the http://safety.nmsu.edu (links below). If you, your staff or researchers work outdoors or are exposed to the summer heat for extended periods, please print, review and distribute/post the following resources at http://safety.nmsu.edu/2016/06/its-hot-outside/ : • “It Hot Outside” - CDC Extreme Heat Brochure (brochure on EHS website, more CDC info http://www.cdc.gov/features/extremeheat/) • “Water Rest Shade” - OSHA Heat Safety Fact Sheet (on EHS website) • More heat stroke information at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000056.htm, http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/heat-stroke-treatment Supervisors are expected to ensure water availability, shade & rest breaks, an understand of the illness hazards and symptoms, and an emergency plan (what to do in a heat illness emergency). Please contact Environment, Health & Safety with any questions, concerns or requests for more information. David L. Shearer, Assistant Director, NMSU Environmental Health & Safety, Phone: 575-646-3327 EH&S web - http://safety.nmsu.edu Unprinted email is more sustainable. If you must print,'double side it'.

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