Prevent Heat Related Illness and Heat Stroke

How Do I Prevent Heat Stroke?

When the weather first turns hot is the worst time for heat stroke. Your body will not be used to the heat, and you may not remember how important it is to keep cool. 

Avoid working in hot areas and full sun in the hottest part of the day. Try to work in the shade or cooler areas when the day is the most hot.  This is usually around 3 pm in the summer in Canada. 

Take regular breaks in a shaded or cooler area to ensure your body temperature can go back down to a comfortable level. 

Start work in a well-hydrated state and maintain this throughout the day. To prevent heat stroke, drink lots of water before you start work, continue through the day and even on your way home. You may not feel thirsty but keep drinking anyway.

If you don’t have enough water to produce enough sweat to cool yourself down, you are in big trouble. It can take 3 or 4 hours to get the water you need back into your system after sweating, so don’t get behind in your water consumption. Your dehydration may carry over from one day to the next if you don’t drink enough after work.

Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you’re conditioned to it. People not used to working in hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

Open doors and use fans if available to increase air movement.  

Ensure you are aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.  Remove yourself if you feel ill and look for the signs in other workers. 

There is no one legal limit for working in the heat in Canada.  Most jurisdictions use the ACGIH recommendations. 

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