Tips for people who work outside during a heat wave - KPTV - FOX 12

Tips for people who work outside during a heat wave

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Anyone who has to work outside during a heat wave should take extra precautions.

Oregon Occupational Safety & Health offered a number of tips for people who work in labor-intensive fields including construction or agriculture.

Those tips include:

  • Perform the heaviest, most labor-intensive work during the coolest part of the day.
  • Use the buddy system (work in pairs) to monitor the heat.
  • Drink plenty of cool water (one small cup every 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Wear light, loose-fitting and breathable clothing (such as cotton).
  • Take frequent short breaks in cool, shaded areas and allow your body to cool down.
  • Avoid eating large meals before working in hot environments.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages (these make the body lose water and increase the risk of heat illnesses).

To help those suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Move them to a cool, shaded area. Do not leave them alone.
  • Loosen and remove heavy clothing.
  • Provide cool water to drink (a small cup every 15 minutes) if they are not feeling sick to their stomach.
  • Try to cool them by fanning them. Cool the skin with a spray mist of cold water or a wet cloth.
  • If they do not feel better in a few minutes, call 911 for emergency help.

Certain medications, wearing personal protective equipment while on the job and a past case of heat stress create a higher risk for heat illness.

Heat stroke is a more severe condition than heat exhaustion and can result in death. Immediately call for emergency help if you think the person is suffering from heat stroke.

For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

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