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HEAT STRESS PREVENTION

INTRODUCTION
Outdoor workers in the Asia & Middle Eastern countries, are exposed to major heat stress during the summer when the temperature rises to more than 45 degrees Celsius and humidity exceeds 90 per cent

INTRODUCTION The body is required to get rid of excess heat to maintain a constant internal temperature (37C)
The bodys best mechanism for removing any excess heat is through the evaporation of sweat

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE BODY HANDLES HEAT

The body has a control system that tries to maintain a constant core body temperature (between 36.5 to 37.2 deg. C) by balancing internal metabolic heat of the body with the external heat to which it is exposed.

37.2C

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE BODY HANDLES HEAT

As long as heat gained is equal to heat lost, the body experiences no stress or hazard.

3C

37.2C

3C

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE BODY HANDLES HEAT

When heat gained is more than heat lost, the result is heat stress as the body stores excess heat.

3C

39.2C

1C

METHODS BY WHICH THE BODY GAINS HEAT

RADIATION

Three main methods by which the body gains heat.

CONDUCTION

CONVECTION

METHODS BY WHICH THE BODY GAINS HEAT

RADIATION

Transfer of heat from objects that are not in direct contact with the body.

METHODS BY WHICH THE BODY GAINS HEAT

Transfer of heat from hot objects that are in direct contact with the body.
CONDUCTION
Hot

METHODS BY WHICH THE BODY GAINS HEAT

CONVECTION

Transfer of heat through mediums such as air and water

HOW THE BODY LOSES HEAT BY SWEATING

When the body gets overheated, it tries to get rid of heat by pumping blood to the skin where heat is lost by evaporation of sweat thus reducing body temperature.

Dehydration: the impact


If blood volume decreases you become dehydrated: there is less blood available to go to the skin and to ability to dissipate heat is lost heart rate increases because of this smaller volume, resulting in excessive fatigue blood supply to the gut is reduced resulting in decreased fluid absorption less blood is available to supply working muscles mental capacity is compromised due to decreased blood flow to the brain

CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE COOLING SYSTEM Acclimation - the biological process through which our bodies adapt to the environment -- basically getting used to the heat. Air Temperature - heat flows from warmer objects to cooler objects. Air Movement - moving air speeds the evaporation process. Humidity - the amount of water vapor in the air affects the rate of evaporation. Clothing - the type of clothing affects the amount of heat our bodies absorb and retain.

HEAT STRESS DISORDERS

Minor Major

Sunburn Heat Rash Heat Cramps Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke

HEAT RASH
Heat Rash - also known as Prickly Heat, occurs in hot, humid environments where sweat can't easily evaporate from the skin.
This condition produces a rash which in some cases causes severe pain. The procedures to prevent or minimize this condition is to rest frequently in cool places and bath regularly ensuring to thoroughly dry the skin.
First Aid: Practice good personal hygiene; keep the skin clean and the pores unclogged, allow skin to dry, wear loose clothing, see doctor if rash persists.

HEAT CRAMPS
Heat Cramps - painful muscle spasms that result from the loss of salt and electrolytes due to excessive sweating.
The cramps will usually affect the stomach, the arms and legs. This condition can be treated by drinking fluids containing electrolytes such as calcium, sodium and potassium.

This condition usually precedes heat exhaustion.


First Aid: Replenish electrolytes through drinking of fluids Stop work and take rest in a cool environment.

HEAT EXHAUSTION
Heat Exhaustion - is a state brought on by the loss of fluids lost during excessive sweating. Individuals with heat exhaustion still sweat, but they experience extreme weakness and may even collapse. They may experience nausea and headache. Their skin is clammy and moist, their complexion is usually pale and the body temperature is usually normal or slightly higher.

First Aid: Place victim in a face down position in a cool location, provide cool press in feet and other parts of body. Remove un necessary clothing or loosen clothing. Shower or sponge with cool water. Administer fluids if the victim is conscious. If unconscious, seek medical care or transport to a medical emergency room.

HEAT STROKE
Heat Stroke - is a severe medical emergency which could result in death.

Heat stroke results when the body's core temperature gets too high and the body is no longer able to cool itself. An individual suffering from heat stroke will have hot and dry skin, their pulse will be high and their blood pressure will fall. First Aid: Immediate, aggressive cooling of the victims body using wet cloths, immersion into cold water or alcohol wipes. Remove unnecessary clothing or loosen clothing. Transport to emergency medical facility ASAP!

What about safety issues?


Heat promotes accidents: slipperiness of sweaty palms dizziness fogging of safety glasses hot surfaces/steam burns lower mental alertness and individual physical performance physical discomfort promotes irritability, anger and other emotions

PREVENTING HEAT STRESS


Acclimation - accustom yourself to the weather prior to long durations of physical activity. Drink plenty of cool water or electrolyte replacement fluids even if not thirsty Proper Diet Eat light and stay away from heavy foods Rest Periods - Pace your work activities at a slower rate during high temperatures and take frequent rest periods in a shaded area and drink plenty of fluids. Dress Light Spend as little time as possible in direct sunlight. Schedule heaviest outside work during the cooler times of the day. Recognize early symptoms and take appropriate action to prevent serious heat disorders. Train all employees on heat stress prevention

What else can you do outside the workplace?


Drink water outside of work not just caffeine (tea, coffee, Coke) or alcohol (beer, spirits, wine) Good diet Good quality sleep

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