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Working in Hot Conditions

  • 29 July 2020
  • Author: Safety Ahead
  • Number of views: 2228
Working in Hot Conditions

When the summer months come along, so do the heat advisories. Temperature extremes can become dangerous to your health. When working in conditions with excessive exposure to heat, heat illnesses are a concern since heat stroke is a possibility. Heat stroke can become lift threatening if not treated immediately. When I was researching for this blog, I didn’t know the different symptoms and treatments for each type of heat illness. I suggest that everyone know and understand the different symptoms and treatments that go along with each heat illness, since it could save a life.    

Determining hot working conditions depends on a number of factors such air temperature, humidity, presence of hot objects in the area, air movement, physical exertion work environment and the clothing worn. Once the conditions have been addressed and evaluated, control measures can be put in place to protect the yourself and others.

You can be challenged in a number of ways when exposed to temperature extremes. Air temperature, air movement, and humidity are all factors that need to be considered when determining protective clothing and exposure levels for the physical activity.

Recognize the signs of heat stroke and other related heat illnesses. Being aware of the signs and symptoms related to a heat illness can help keep you and the lives of others safe.

Heat Illness



Heat Stroke

  • Confusion, altered mental state, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a shaded, cool area
  • Remove any unnecessary clothing
  • Cool the person quickly with a cold water or ice bath

Heat Exhaustion

  • Headache
  • Dizziness, nausea
  • Weakness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature


  • Call 911
  • Move person to shaded area
  • Give the person a cool water to drink
  • Remove any unnecessary clothing

Heat Cramps

  • Muscle cramps in the legs, arms or abdomen


  • Drink water as well as electrolyte replacement
  • Rest for at least 1 hour and seek medical attention if cramps have not subsided

Heat Rash

  • Red clusters that look like small blisters


  • Move to a cooler environment
  • Keep rash area dry


Hot Conditions

Some ways to help prevent a heat illness during these summer months include:  

  • Have your supervisors regulate the temperature in the workplace with air movement fans or air conditioning. When controlling the temperature is not possible, measures need to be provided to assist workers to deal with heat.
  • If you’re exposed to temperatures above 37°C you need to take special precautions such as taking breaks in shaded cool areas, ensuring to drink water throughout the day to prevent heat stress and other heat related conditions.
  • You should take frequent drinks of cool liquids such as water, fruit juices or beverages with electrolytes to replenish lost fluids. Amounts will vary from person to person, however a level of 300 ml (1 cup) per hour is the recommended minimum. Avoid drinks such as coffee and tea as these dehydrate the body.
  • You need to protect yourself from over exposure from the sun as well as insects. Wear work and weather appropriate clothing. Clothing should be layered and light in weight and color and should be loose fitting to speed up evaporation. Fabric should be of a type that allows perspiration to evaporate easily.
  • If you are working outdoors, ensure to wear sunglasses or tinted safety glasses if permitted and use sunscreen of appropriate sun protection factor. Wear insect repellent to protect against insect bites.
  • Ensure to take frequent rest breaks in a shaded or cooled area. If you become dizzy or weak when working in hot temperatures, report it to your supervisor or a co-worker immediately. If you are at home ensure to inform a family member immediately. It may be a symptom of heat stroke or a heat related illness.

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