I think we can all agree that summertime is here. In South Georgia where I am, the average max daily temperature has been 92* for the last 30 days. If we account for the effects of humidity, the heat index can easily be well over 100*. I checked the weather last Saturday and the temperature was only 93 but the heat index was 110* at 8pm. In these high temps, we need to be very aware of heat related illnesses.
Heat related illness may include rash, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most serious and can lead to death. The best approach to heat related illness is of course prevention.
Prevention of heat related illness: Ventilation or air conditioning to cool work environment
- Work/rest cycles to allow workers time to cool off
- Schedule tasks during cooler times of the day
- Drink lots of water!!!!
Prevention is key but workers and management must be able to recognize the signs of heat related illness.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Symptoms of heat stroke:
- Lack of sweating
- Fainting or collapse
This article is just a quick attempt to remind our members that heat related illness is a problem with the high temperature we experience in the southeast. It is important to keep this in mind as crews continue repair and maintenance work around the gin or farm. I am adding links to an OSHA bulletin covering heat related illness. Please take the time to read over the material and make sure workers are aware of the issue during these hot days of summer.
Info on heat related illness: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/#illness
First aid for heat related illness: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html
Training program: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/osha_heattraining_guide_0411.pdf