Heat Stress


Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke or heat exhaustion.



Heat exhaustion is the body's response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Heavy sweating,
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue,
  • Dizziness, confusion,
  • Nausea,
  • Clammy, moist skin,
  • Pale or flushed complexion,
  • Muscle cramps,
  • Slightly elevated body temperature,
  • Fast and shallow breathing.

First Aid

  • Have worker rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area,
  • Have them drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverage ,
  • Have them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

Can It Be Prevented?

Know the signs/symptoms of heat-related illnesses; monitor yourself and coworkers.
  • Block out direct sun or other heat sources,
  • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning; rest regularly,
  • Drink lots of water; about 1 cup every 15 minutes,
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes,
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals.


Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occers when the body become unable to control its temperature: the boy's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperture 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.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Hot, dry skin (no sweating),
  • Hallucinations,
  • Chills,
  • Throbbing headache,
  • High body temperature,
  • Confusion/dizziness,
  • Slurred speech.

First Aid

  • Call 911 and notify their supervisor,
  • Move the sick worker to a cool shaded area,
  • Cool the worker using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water,
    • Spraying, sponging or showering them with water,
    • Fanning their body.