VW Connect

Table Of Contents

  1. Identifying and Preventing Heat Illnesses In Construction
  2. Heat Illnesses and Symptoms
  3. Preventing Heat Illnesses In Construction

Identifying and Preventing Heat Illness While Working In Construction

Exposure to heat is an unavoidable danger during most of the year in Arizona. The deaths of at least 494 people were linked to heat during 2020. Heat illnesses start with dehydration but can rapidly elevate to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. It is important to identify the symptoms of these conditions to avoid heat illness and to monitor yourself and your coworkers.

Identifying Heat Illness

  • Very dry skin and mouth.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Less frequent urination with dark color.
  • Muscle Cramps.
  • Stop work. Drink water and move to a cooler, shaded area.
  • Very dry skin and mouth.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Less frequent urination with dark color.
  • Muscle Cramps.
  • Stop work. Drink water and move to a cooler, shaded area.
  • Nausea, dizziness, or confusion.
  • Unable to sweat.
  • Red Hot Dry Skin/Fever.
  • Elevated Heart Rate.
  • May lose consciousness.
  • Call 911 and have a coworker stay with the victim until help arrives. Move them to a cooler area and remove outer clothing. Provide cool drinking water if they can drink, apply water to skin. Use Ice bags or Ice towels. Call your supervisor.

How To Prevent Heat Illnesses

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink often and BEFORE you are thirsty, including before beginning work. Drink water every 15 minutes. Drink one diluted sport drink every day.
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar drinks, like coffee and energy drinks.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight when possible and wear clothing that covers your skin.
  • Be extra cautious if on Blood Pressure medication or Decongestants as they can inhibit sweat production, blood flow, and ultimately your body’s ability to cool itself efficiently.