Summer is here, and it’s time to focus on preventing heat stress and related injuries. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all risks during hot weather and require prompt medical attention.

Heat cramps are muscle cramps that generally occur in the arms or legs but can also affect the abdominal or chest muscles. The cramps are caused by dehydration from excessive body fluid loss through sweating.

First aid for heat cramps:

  • Move the victim to a cool place.
  • Rest the cramping muscle.
  • Give the person cool water.

Heat exhaustion signs include heavy sweating, weakness, fast pulse, normal body temperature, headache and dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

First aid for heat exhaustion:

  • Move the worker to a cool place.
  • Keep him/her lying down with legs straight and elevated 8 to 12 inches.
  • Apply wet towels loosely around the person’s neck or forehead.
  • Give the victim cold water only if he/she is conscious.
  • Seek professional medical attention if the victim loses consciousness or if no improvement is noted within 30 minutes.

Heat stroke signs and symptoms include high body temperature, unconsciousness, hot skin, rapid pulse and breathing, weakness, dizziness, or headache.

Immediate first aid is required:

  • Move the victim to a cool place.
  • Cool the person immediately using any available means (e.g., ice/water from jobsite cooler).
  • Keep the victim’s head and shoulders slightly elevated.
  • Monitor the person’s breathing.
  • Call 911 for professional help as soon as possible.

Preventing heat illness is very critical to your workers’ health. Please use our Heat Stress Prevention Toolbox Talk to review this important topic with your employees.

RETTEW offers regular First Aid/CPR/AED/BBP trainings, covering heat stress prevention and treatment, and our safety consultants are available to assist with developing extreme weather protection programs. Please contact Wayne Vanderhoof, CSP at 800.738.8395 for more information.

Additional Offerings

Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.