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The heat and humidity are here, and if you or someone you love works outside during the summer, you might have concerns about heat-related illnesses.
It’s a real issue for outdoor workers during the heat and humidity of the summer. But there are things you can do to prevent heat-related illnesses and recognize the signs of one.
Heat-related illnesses can do real damage, causing you to miss work, so they shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly.
Here are some things you need to know.
There are some warning signs that your body could be experiencing a heat-related illness, like dizziness, headaches, sweating, fainting, nausea, vomiting or a general weakness feeling. These signs can come on gradually or quickly, depending on the weather, your age and fitness and other factors.
If you start to feel any of these symptoms while working in the heat and humidity, it’s best to react quickly. Seek shade or air conditioning, have water or an electrolyte drink and rest. Generally speaking, those options may be enough to help you recover and avoid more serious issues.
Ignoring these symptoms can lead to a more severe illness or even death. These are the signs of dehydration and/or heat exhaustion and if ignored, they can lead to the more serious heat stroke.
The symptoms of heat stroke include the same symptoms as heat exhaustion, but also a lack of sweating, an elevated body temperature (above 104F) and confusion, slurred speech or passing out/fainting.
Anyone with signs of heat stroke should seek professional medical attention immediately, as it can result in death or even a permanent disability.
Generally speaking, those who work outside in the summer months can become acclimated to the heat and humidity and can tolerate it more than someone who doesn’t spend as much time in outdoors in warmer weather, but with summer being a time for temporary workers and vacations, if you work outside in the heat and humidity, make sure you know the warning signs not only for yourself, but your coworkers as well.
Connor Kimmet and Hafenstein LLP
If you have questions about heat-related illnesses and how they can impact your job, our qualified attorneys are here to help. Contact us today.