As warehouse workers endure working long hours in hot weather and humid conditions, understanding the signs of heat stroke is essential to keeping them safe and healthy.
Heat stroke can cause serious health issues—sometimes with life-threatening consequences. For business owners and warehouse managers, learning how to recognize the signs of heat stroke should be high on your list of priorities this summer.
Below, Artesian Bottleless Water guides you through five key indicators that might point to heat stroke developments so that you know what action to take if needed. With some prevention and preparation, everyone involved will stay healthier and safer during these sweltering hot days!
What Is Heat Stroke?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prolonged exposure to high temperatures combined with physical activity are very likely to lead to heat stroke. Excessive sweating, dehydration, or heat exhaustion can all contribute to its development. Heat stroke is severe and life threatening, as the body fails to regulate its own internal temperature. In fact, a recent study also found that around 20,000 people die from heat-related illnesses in North America each year, making it important to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to prevent them. Early recognition and prompt treatment can help save lives.
Know The Symptoms Of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a medical emergency that needs immediate attention. Recognizing the signs early can help reduce any potential risks associated with this condition. Here are five common signs of heat stroke:
Increased Body Temperature
A core body temperature above 104°F (40°C) is a key symptom of heat stroke. Use a thermometer to measure a workers’s temperature if you suspect they have heat stroke. This can be accompanied by dry skin, flushed complexion, slurred speech, and rapid breathing.
Confusion or Delirium
This can range from disorientation to agitation or an impaired ability to think clearly. An individual may not be able to follow simple instructions or comprehend what you are saying. Confusion can also be a sign of dehydration.
Dizziness or Fainting Spells
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting spells can all be caused by heat stroke. Take note of any episodes or painful muscle cramps that occur in the workplace, as this could signal a need for medical attention. Difficulty standing up or walking can also be a sign of heat stroke.
Rapid Breathing and Heartbeat
Heat stroke increases the level of stress on the body, making it difficult to breathe normally. A person may experience rapid breathing and an increased heart rate, both of which need to be monitored. You can see if they are having difficulty breathing by observing their chest.
Nausea, Vomiting, or Diarrhea
An upset stomach with nausea and vomiting can happen due to heat stroke, as can diarrhea. These are common signs that something is wrong internally and should not be ever overlooked. Some cases may even lead to seizures, so it’s important that you act quickly and seek medical help.
How to Avoid Heat Stroke for Warehouse Workers
With so many potential hazards lurking in the warehouse, how can you help keep you or your workers safe and healthy this summer season? Here are some tips for avoiding heat stroke:
Provide Ample Hydration
Encourage your warehouse workers to drink lots of water throughout the day and provide access to cold beverages. For those who work outside, encourage them to carry enough fluids with them or refill their reusable water bottle often.
Take Rest Breaks Regularly
Allow for frequent breaks so that workers can cool off and rehydrate. If possible, encourage them to take a rest period in a shaded area or cool off with a fan. You might even offer frozen towels to help them cool down.
Encourage your workers to dress in light, loose-fitting clothes that are breathable and moisture-wicking. Avoid any synthetic fabrics and tight clothing as they can trap heat. If you’re working outdoors, choose lightweight, breathable clothing with a wide-brimmed hat that covers your head and face in order to protect them from the sun’s heat.
Monitor the Temperature
Pay attention to both indoor and outdoor temperatures and be aware of any changes in warehouse conditions. For example, if the temperature increases significantly, it may be wise to move work outdoors or reduce workloads until you can establish a cooler environment.
Make sure your employees know the signs of heat stroke and how to prevent it. Provide education on the importance of proper hydration, rest, and dressing appropriately for summer conditions in the workplace.
Alter Your Hours
If possible, have your workers work in the cooler parts of the day to help reduce their risk of heat stroke. This could mean starting earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when temperatures are lower.
Install Fans or Air Conditioners
Installing fans or air conditioners in the workplace can help keep temperatures more comfortable and reduce the risk of heat stroke. It’s important to make sure these are in good working order and that there is adequate ventilation and air circulation.
Basic First Aid Treatment
If someone is showing signs of heat stroke, it’s important to take action quickly. Move them to a cool place indoors or out in the shade, remove any unnecessary clothing or accessories, apply cold water or ice to their skin, and, if possible, have them drink cool liquids. If symptoms persist, contact emergency services immediately. It is paramount that you act quickly and seek emergency medical assistance. Furthermore, monitor the individual’s condition until help arrives.
It’s important to stay informed on the latest safety protocols and guidelines when it comes to working in hot conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidelines on how to protect workers from heat stress, as well as other hazards associated with warehouse work.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a Heat Safety Tool app that can be used to monitor temperatures and take action when needed. By following these regulations and staying up-to-date on the latest safety guidelines, you can help ensure that your warehouse workers stay safe and healthy this summer.
Stay Hydrated While Working In Hot Conditions With Artesian Bottleless Ice and Water Coolers
Artesian Bottleless Water ice and water coolers are a great way to make sure your warehouse workers stay hydrated and healthy while working in hot conditions. They can be installed directly into existing water lines, supplying fresh, filtered drinking water with no need for external storage tanks or bottles. This eliminates the need for heavy lifting and reduces waste, making it a great choice for warehouse settings.
Artesian coolers provide cold, clean drinking water to help employees stay cool and refreshed during hot summer days in the workplace. Additionally, they are easy to use, giving your team no excuses for not staying hydrated. With their sleek modern design, these bottleless water coolers blend nicely into any warehouse setting.
Contact us today to learn more about how our bottleless water and ice coolers can help keep your warehouse workers healthy and safe, not just throughout the summer, but all year long. With our innovative filtration systems and cutting-edge designs, you’ll be sure to find the perfect solution for your workspace!