Cal/OSHA urging businesses to keep eye on heat illness symptoms

Outdoor workers, such as construction and farm laborers, are urged to stay hydrated and watch for signs of heat illness.

Temperatures are spiking as August makes its debut across the Central Valley. Cal/OSHA is reminding employers and their employees to keep an eye out for heat illness symptoms.

Being exposed to excessive heat can lead to headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, cramps, exhaustion and fainting, according to the agency. These are all signs to be aware of if someone hasn’t been able to keep cool while working outdoors.

“Exposure to heat while working outdoors can cause serious illness or death,” Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA said in a statement. “It is important for those who work outdoors, especially during heat waves, to know how to protect themselves from heat illness.”

Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid- to low-100s over the next four days, then drop into the mid-90-degree range after that.

Outdoor workers should work in a buddy system when temperatures get above 95 degrees, experts advise.

Workers who experience possible heat sickness are urged to take shelter in the shade and cool down, waiting for symptoms to pass, before attempting to return to work. Cal/OSHA reported those on high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications — as well as those with diabetes — are at higher risk for heat illness.

Proper hydration, such as drinking eight ounces of cool water every 15 minutes and avoiding caffeinated, carbonated and alcoholic drinks, will help prevent heat illness.


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