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Old 03-20-2009, 08:28 PM
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Default Interesting article

I just read an interesting article about heat stroke. We're coming into the hot days here real soon. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


Heat Stroke - Heat Cramps - Heat Exhaustion
Heat and humidity can have a significant impact on worker health. It's our
responsibility to provide appropriate safety training before exposing workers to risk.

Here are a few facts about heat stress and tips for minimizing it:

  • Six factors are involved in heat stress — temperature, humidity, air movement,
    radiant temperature of surroundings, clothing and physical activity.
  • High temps cause an increase in blood flow to the skin, allowing the release
    of heat. When working, blood flow is necessarily diverted to muscles, reducing
    our ability to release heat.
  • Heat causes increased sweating, depleting the body's fluids and raising heat
    intolerance. Fatigue, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can result.
  • Medically unfit people are more prone to heat stress. Conditions like obesity,
    chronic illness requiring certain medications, failure to acclimatize the worker
    to conditions and alcohol abuse all increase the likelihood of stress.
Recognize the danger signs

Heat cramps usually don't result in permanent damage but are painful.
Drink electrolytes (like Gatorade) frequently during the day.

Heat exhaustion
(headache, dizziness, loss of coordination, rapid pulse, nausea)
is more serious than cramps. The body's "air conditioner" is not keeping up.
Immediately move the person into the shade. Elevate the feet above the head,
loosen clothing and apply wet cloths and/or fan the person. Provide water or electrolyte
drinks. Have the person examined by a medical professional and limit any strenuous
activity for the balance of the day.

Heat stroke
is life threatening. It happens when the body has depleted its supply
of water and salt and body temperature rises to deadly levels (103 degrees).
Sweating may cease, skin becomes flushed and dry, rapid pulse and difficulty in
breathing may occur.

Pupils may constrict and all the signs of heat exhaustion exist.
If heat stroke is suspected, lower the victim's body temperature immediately.
Do this any way you can, including pouring water on the victim. Call 911 to get an
ambulance on the way.

Heat awareness tips
  • Condition any new workers to work in the heat. Don't rush the process.
  • Adjust work schedules to minimize work during the hottest hours.
  • Carry and drink lots of liquid. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
  • Take breaks immediately if symptoms appear.
  • Switch to loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Carry fans if air conditioning is not available.
  • Get enough sleep at night. Physical condition is important.
— Bill Hoopes is the author and founder of Grass Roots Training in Delaware, OH.
Contact him at or visit

Best of success,

Kevin Whiteside - Professional Lawn Care Discussions
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