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The summer is winding down, but the weather is still brutal.  With temperatures soaring into the 90s in some parts of the country, care must be taken when working outdoors to prevent heat-related illnesses.

In this video, Barnhart Safety Trainer Daniel Voss outlines how to recognize the symptoms of heat stress and how to take steps to prevent it in the first place.

Heat-related illnesses can come on gradually as your body struggles to maintain its internal core temperature. There are several phases of the condition and at each phase the affected person’s symptoms worsen.

  • Heat Rash
  • Dehydration
  • Heat Cramps
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious condition, requiring an immediate call to 911. Skin is hot to the touch, sweating has stopped and the body’s temperature is over 103 degrees. Yet even in the early stages of a heat-related illness, becoming overheated can affect mental alertness, making you more susceptible to accidents.

One of the most important and easiest preventive measures is to drink water and not just when you step outside. Start drinking water hours beforehand and continue throughout the day. You’ll want to drink 5-7 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Wear light clothing that will reflect and not absorb the heat. Pace yourself.

Finally, look out for your coworkers. If someone complains of being nauseated, disoriented, or fatigued, they might be experiencing heat stress. Have them take a break and move into a cool, shaded area with good airflow.

See more tips below.