How is Increasingly Hot Weather Affecting Workers?

It is well known that working outdoors during the summer months can be dangerous. But many people fail to realize that the dangers of hot weather are not restricted to the outdoors. Workers in various environments can be affected by hot weather.

Research has shown that work environments higher than normal skin temperature increases the risk of heat-related stress and illness. That means that any temperature – inside or out – that is more than 90 degrees, could affect your body’s ability to cool down. That’s because your skin cannot lose heat, which causes blood temperature to rise. Your body cannot release the heat, but rather stores it, which raises core body temperature.

When your core body temperature is high, you may experience fatigue, dehydration, irritability, nausea/vomiting, and heat exhaustion.

What Work Environments are Vulnerable to Heat?

Indoor and outdoor work environments can affect workers when temperatures rise. Increasingly hot weather could impact you if you work in the following occupations:

Indoors:

·         Foundry

·         Glass, brick, or ceramic manufacturing

·         Electrical utilities

·         Chemical plants

·         Distribution warehouses

·         Commercial kitchens

Outdoors:

·         Farming

·         Landscaping

·         Oil and gas operations

·         Emergency response operations

·         Hazardous waste management

If you work in any of these occupations, be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion. Get medical attention right away if you experience rash, cramps, dizziness, no desire to drink, or feel faint. Without proper treatment, heat-related illness can lead to serious complications, or can even be fatal.