If you work outdoors, you already know the force of the sun is no joke; heat stroke in particular can indeed make you feel as though you're baking alive.
Allow the leading workers' comp law firm in Las Vegas to teach you how to prevent heat stroke and also how to recognize the symptoms and respond if one of your coworkers isn't as proactive as you are about working in the blistering heat.
Launch your learning curve with an understanding of heat stroke
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies six different forms of heat-related illnesses, with heat stroke being the most serious and heat rash being the least serious on the continuum. The CDC defines heat stroke as:
- "Occurring when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly; the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given."
Take steps to prevent heat stroke
The Mayo Clinic says heat stroke is both "predictable and preventable," which it is if you take the following precautions before working outdoors:
- Wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing like cotton, which "breathes" and doesn't trap perspiration, and top it off with a hat.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15.
- Gradually work up to a full day outdoors. "People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness," the Mayo Clinic says. "It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
- Try to schedule your most strenuous activity in the early morning or later in the day, when temperatures are not at their highest. "Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit," the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water every 15 minutes, even if you're not thirsty.
- Take a break in the shade to cool down if you feel light-headed or overcome by the heat.
The foremost workers' comp law firm in Las Vegas wants you to recognize the symptoms
Remain alert to other symptoms of heat stroke, too, including:
- Profuse sweating
- Red, hot, dry skin
Treat heat stroke as a medical emergency
Heat stroke can be fatal if treatment is delayed, so there is no such thing as "over-reacting" if a coworker exhibits symptoms. Move quickly and:
- Call 911
- Move the person to a shaded area, if possible
- Loosen or remove any outer clothing
- Place cool, wet cloths on the head, neck and wrists
Contact GGRM, the Workers' Comp Law Firm in Las Vegas
If you have questions about heat stroke, or suspect your employer may be exhibiting willful disregard for your safety and that of your coworkers, reach out to the most experienced workers' comp law firm in Las Vegas, Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez. Our tenacity and skill with workers' compensation has a way of putting grievances on ice. Contact 702-388-4476 for a free consultation today.