Heat Stress & Heat Stroke

Beat the Heat: Understanding Heat Stress and Heat Stroke

Anyone performing physical or athletic activities on hot or humid summer days is at risk for heat-related illnesses. Those likely to be in danger include municipal, fire, police, and public-school employees and students. Heat stress, especially heat stroke, can be life-threatening. Luckily, they are almost always preventable.

Who is at risk?

  • While everyone is at some risk from high temperatures, people with chronic health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or obesity) over age 35 are more susceptible to heat illnesses
  • Employees new to outdoor jobs are also at high risk
  • Individuals who have not yet acclimated to the heat–heat-related illnesses and related claims spike on the first hot days of summer

CONN-OSHA recommends that public employers:

  • Provide workers with water, rest, and shade
  • Allow new or returning employees to gradually increase outdoor duties and take more frequent breaks as they build tolerance for working in the heat
  • Plan for emergencies and train employees in prevention
  • Monitor employees regularly and often for signs of possible illness

CIRMA urges its members to implement a heat-related illness prevention program to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Check out OSHA’s web resources on occupational heat exposures and preventative measures, OSHA Quick Card, and the University of Connecticut/Korey Stringer Institute’s information on heat-related illnesses and student athletics.

Access CIRMA’s online portal for more important employee training and education tools and resources on relevant seasonal topics.

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