When the weather is hot, your body is under stress. This is particularly true if you work outside and your job involves strenuous physical activity. Warehouse workers, gardeners, construction workers, painters and many others are at risk of heat-related injuries while at work.
Conditions that may contribute to heat stress and on-the-job injury:
•    Temperature
•    Humidity
•    Movement of air
•    Radiant temperature of the surroundings
•    Clothing
•    Physical activity
Common heat-related injuries and illnesses are described here:
1.  Heat Rash - Heat rash is a very itchy, bumpy red rash caused by a hot, humid environment and plugged sweat glands. It is not life threatening, but can be annoying.

2.  Heat Cramps – Heat cramps are painful muscle cramps caused by the loss of body salt through extreme sweating. Heat cramps may be the first sign of more serious heat-related illness. If the cramps persist or other symptoms develop, seek medical attention immediately.
3.  Heat Syncope – Heat syncope is a term for sudden fainting caused by reduced blood flow to the head. The victim's skin will feel cool and moist and their pulse will be weak. Seek immediate medical attention.
  4.  Heat Exhaustion – Heat exhaustion is the result of inadequate salt and water intake. It is a sign the body's cooling system is not working properly. Symptoms include profuse sweating, cool moist skin, rapid breathing, blurry vision and a weak pulse. Victims may seem and tired, confused, clumsy, irritable or upset. Seek immediate medical attention, even if the victim protests. The heat may affect their judgment. Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to deadly heat stroke.

5.  Heat Stroke – Heat stroke occurs when the body's cooling mechanism has shut down from extreme loss of salt and fluids. The body temperature rises and the victims skin will be hot, dry and red. The heart rate will be fast.  The victim may be dizzy, weak, confused, or upset. Heat stroke may cause headache, loss of consciousness, convulsions and death. Seek immediate medical attention.
To prevent heat injury:
•    Know the symptoms of heat-related illness.
•    Use a buddy system. You may not recognize that you are becoming overheated, but a “buddy” can watch for signs of heat illness.
•    Take frequent breaks in a shady area.

•    Avoid heavy physical activity during the hottest part of the day.
•    On very hot days, slow down the pace or get help.
•    Stay hydrated. Drink both water and electrolytic drinks, about one cup every 15-20 minutes.
•    Dress appropriately

Have You Been Injured On The Job?

If you've been hurt at work on the job in Kansas City you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.