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Hot indoor working environments can be equally as stressful as outdoor working environments, both physically and mentally. To beat heat stress, it’s important for you to prepare yourself for your hot work environment by taking extra precautions to feel fit and safe on the job.
Causes of Heat Stress
Adequate preparation for your job includes education on how your body becomes overheated. The amount of stress you face, in addition to your body type, weight and overall health, depends on a number of factors, which include the following:
- Radiant heat (from the sun, furnace or other heat source)
- Air speed
Preventing Heat Stress
There are several things you can do throughout the day to reduce the effects of heat stress. Follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of water—sweating is your body’s way of stabilizing its internal temperature, which is helpful, but only if you replace the water you lose with extra fluids.
- Take breaks—even short time periods away from direct heat sources can be helpful for your body.
- Reduce your workload—your health and safety is essential, so if you are feeling exhausted from the heat, reduce the weight of your load or the pace of your work.
- Wear proper clothing—loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric is best for staying cool.
- Pace yourself the first day back—studies show that it takes time to acclimate your body to heat so ease back into hot work environments carefully, even if you only had a few days off.
Heat disorders can be very serious if ignored. Stop working and seek a cool environment immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Dizziness or delirium
- Mottled, bluish skin
- High body temperature
- Painful muscle spasms and trouble sleeping
The Safegard Group can help determine the causes of heat stress in your environment and give tips on improving, contact us to find out more.