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Jul 27

Safety First

KOSERCA prides itself on its safety culture and that is why every summer it implements its heat illness prevention program...

FULL ARTICLE:

KOSERCA prides itself on its safety culture and that is why every summer it implements its heat illness prevention program.

Many people are at risk from heat stress while on the job. Operations involving high heat, direct sunlight or heavy exertion can all expose workers to heat stress, and put them at risk for heat-related illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 6 million workers are exposed to occupational heat stress, resulting in tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths each year.

Physical Factors
A person’s age, weight, metabolism, circulation and overall physical fitness can all affect how that person will respond to stress placed on the body, including heat stress. Young, physically fit workers are generally more resistant to heat stress. An increased internal body temperature can also make a worker more prone to heat stress. If the body is already generating more internal heat, it makes sense that it will be easier to get overheated and harder to cool off.

Preventing Heat Stress
The best way to prevent heat stress illnesses in the workplace is to reduce the amount of heat and humidity that workers are exposed to. Indoors, air conditioning is the best way to reduce both heat and humidity

PPE
There are some types of personal protective equipment that can help to reduce heat stress. Workers who must work with or near hot equipment, such as welding and smelting operations, can be helped by insulated or reflective clothing, gloves and face shields. Reflective clothing can also help for outdoor operations.
Signs of Heat Related Illness

Any time workers show or report signs of heat-related illness, the employer must provide appropriate first aid or emergency response. It is important that all employees know how to identify and report signs and symptoms of heat stress in themselves and those around them. Early symptoms of heat stress can include fatigue, dehydration, cramps and rashes. Heat fatigue is most caused by not being acclimated to the hot work environment

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