How to Diagnose and Prevent These Most Common Heat Related Illnesses at the Workplace

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Heat-related conditions can occur throughout the year, but the hot summer days definitely increase the risk of contracting them. If the conditions aren’t diagnosed and treated immediately, heat conditions can lead to a lot of complications. Employees who work during the peak sun hours and are usually encumbered by heavy equipment and warm protective gear are definitely most at risk.

In most cases, you can seek worker’s compensation benefits for heat-related conditions contracted at work. Just make sure you report your condition to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the weaker your chances are of winning a case against the insurance company. Read more about it at this link:

The Risks

Workers who are subject to heavy physical labor and those who work outside, like construction workers, are most prone to suffer a heat-related condition. The risk is even greater for workers whose job involves high temperatures like firefighters, factory workers, miners and others. Age also has a lot to do with contracting and dealing with a heat-related illness, as the condition can prove fatal to those over 65. The same goes for workers suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity.

Heat-Related Conditions

Heat can cause a number of different conditions ranging from mild to serious and even fatal. If you suspect you or your coworker suffered a heat-related condition or notice any of the common symptoms, you should visit the doctor immediately. Listed below are some of the most common heat-related conditions:

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the least dangerous of all the heat-related conditions, but dangerous nonetheless. The main symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, fever, nausea, extreme thirst and dizziness. All of these symptoms can hinder your ability to work and might cause you to get seriously injured, like for example by falling off a scaffold due to dizziness.

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is another condition that often comes in the form of dizziness and fainting. It often occurs due to dehydration. If you feel dizzy after working under the sun for too long, make sure to retreat to a shady area, drink plenty of fluids and rest until the symptoms disappear. To eliminate the possibility of other conditions, make sure to visit the doctor even if you cannot feel the symptoms anymore.

Heat Cramps

This condition manifests in the form of muscle aches. It occurs due to the loss of salt and fluids after experiencing increased sweating. If you experience any muscle cramps after working for too long in the heat, make sure to drink plenty of fluids with a high electrolyte count, like sports drinks.

Heat Stroke

The most dangerous, and sadly the most common condition on this list, a heat stroke is dangerous as it can often lead to a fatal outcome. You can recognize a heat stroke by extremely high body temperatures and lack of sweating. Patients also often complain about being confused, experiencing chills and loss of consciousness sometimes followed by seizures.

How to Prevent These Conditions

The best way to prevent heat-related conditions is to raise awareness about them among your colleagues and employers. You should have at least one person at your workplace in charge of monitoring the employees for the symptoms of heat-related diseases. Ideally, work hours should change according to the temperature and other weather conditions, but since that can’t always be implemented the company should at least monitor the area for humidity, sun exposure and temperature. Finally, workers should stay hydrated as dehydration is the leading cause of most of these conditions.

July 25, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News