Dangerous heat expected July 18-20
The Chicago area is expecting a heat index of 99 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday July 18, through Saturday, July 20, 2019. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning. The combined heat and humidity will make it feel hotter than the temperature alone, creating a high potential for heat stress and heat-related illnesses. Please be cautious when performing any outdoor activity, or indoors where there is no air conditioning. Below are some additional tips to avoid heat stress and heat-related illness.
Tips to avoid heat stress
- Stay hydrated. Drink one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take regular breaks in a shaded or cool area.
- Wear the right clothes. Light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable attire is best.
- Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of the day.
- Set up a buddy system to keep an eye out for colleagues. Supervisors should monitor workers for signs of heat-related illness.
What to do if a person shows signs of heat stress
- Stop work immediately and call 9-1-1 from landlines or (630) 252-1911 from mobile devices.
- Move the worker to a cool or shaded area.
- Advise the worker to drink water, remove excess clothing, and apply cool water to body.
- Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Fast or shallow breathing
- Pale or flushed complexion
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, irritability, or confusion
Signs of heat stroke
- Dry, hot skin or profuse sweating
- Chills and throbbing headache
- High body temperature
- Mental confusion or loss of consciousness
- Seizures and convulsions
Where work requires partial or full protective clothing, more than moderate muscular exertion, or work in direct sun or radiant heat, then this work is expected to result in high heat stress conditions that may exceed the limits described in LMS-PROC-169 Control of Occupational Heat Stress.
To minimize potential overexposure to heat stress, Worker Safety and Health (WSH) recommends that work in these high heat conditions be evaluated and rescheduled when possible, when it is safe to do so. If rescheduling is not practical, contact your Industrial Hygienist, or Mike Schmoldt (WSH-Occupational Health) at ext. 2-1213 or 608-308-5039 (cell) to establish work-rest schedules and controls to manage heat stress.