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The holiday seasons are coming!   Please think about food safety and you plan those special holidays!
Dave

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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Lightning Safety Week: June 22-28, 2008

Check this site for handouts, indoor safety and outdoor risk reduction tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools and more. Our new kids page now includes a Leon the Lion Safety coloring sheet.

Rocco Mediate Lightning Safety Poster and link to poster pageSummer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena— lightning. But don’t be fooled, lightning strikes yearround. The goal of this Website is to safeguard U.S. residents from lightning.

In the United States, an average of 62 people are killed each year by lightning. Already in 2008, 27 people have died due to lightning strikes. In 2007, 45 people were struck and killed by lightning in the U.S.; hundreds of others were injured.  Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2007:

  • 98% were outside
  • 89% were male
  • 30% were males between the ages of 20-25
  • 25% were standing under a tree
  • 25% occurred on or near the water

The reported number of injuries is likely far lower than the actual total number because many people do not seek help or doctors do not record it as a lightning injury.  People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and an inability to sit for long.

Lightning is a serious danger. Through this site we hope you’ll learn more about lightning risks and how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your belongings. As a start, get an overview of Lightning Safety or stop by our comprehensive page of handouts, brochures, links and more.


Overview, Science, Outdoors, Indoors, Medical, Teachers, Survivor Stories,
Success Stories, Photos, Lightning Awareness Week, More Info


 

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NIOSH Safety and Health Topic:

Heat Stress

Workers drinking waterFire fighter working in intense heatWorkers casting hot metal

Overview

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam.

Summer Hazards for Workers – now on the NIOSH Science Blog. Read it and share your comments

Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

Types of Heat Stress

Heat Stroke | Heat Exhaustion | Heat Syncope | Heat Cramps | Heat Rash

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Hot, dry skin (no sweating)
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

First Aid

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

  • Call 911 and notify their supervisor.
  • Move the sick worker to a cool shaded area.
  • Cool the worker using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water.
    • Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
    • Fanning their body.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing

First Aid

Treat a worker suffering from heat exhaustion with the following:

  • Have them rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Have them drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Have them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat syncope include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

First Aid

Workers with heat syncope should:

  • Sit or lie down in a cool place when they begin to feel symptoms.
  • Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports beverage.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Symptoms

Muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs.

First Aid

Workers with heat cramps should:

  • Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place.
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention if any of the following apply:
    • The worker has heart problems.
    • The worker is on a low-sodium diet.
    • The cramps do not subside within one hour.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat rash include:

  • Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.
  • It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

First Aid

Workers experiencing heat rash should:

  • Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible.
  • Keep the affected area dry.
  • Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

Recommendations for Employers

Employers should take the following steps to protect workers from heat stress:

  • Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in hot areas for cooler months.
  • Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day.
  • Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environments.
  • Reduce the physical demands of workers.
  • Use relief workers or assign extra workers for physically demanding jobs.
  • Provide cool water or liquids to workers.
    • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar.
  • Provide rest periods with water breaks.
  • Provide cool areas for use during break periods.
  • Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress.
  • Provide heat stress training that includes information about:
    • Worker risk
    • Prevention
    • Symptoms
    • The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms
    • Treatment
    • Personal protective equipment

Recommendations for Workers

Workers should avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these exposures cannot be avoided, workers should take the following steps to prevent heat stress:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
    • Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
  • Gradually build up to heavy work.
  • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
  • Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
    • Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
  • Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar.
  • Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.

CDC Resources

MMWR: Heat-Related Deaths among Crop Workers, 1992-2006

CDC: Extreme Heat
Additional information on heat stress illnesses and prevention.
En Español

NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments (Revised Criteria 1986)
This document presents the criteria, techniques, and procedures for the assessment, evaluation, and control of occupational heat stress by engineering and preventive work practices. Included are ways of predicting health risks, procedures for control of heat stress, and techniques for prevention and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

NIOSH: Working in Hot Environments
Workers who are suddenly exposed to working in a hot environment face additional and generally avoidable hazards to their safety and health. This publication discusses the safety and health consequences of heat stress.

Health Hazard Evaluations

Extension Cord Safety
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year, about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms. About half of the injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions or sprains from people tripping over extension cords. CPSC also estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage and/or misuse of extension cords.

Today we’ll look at some tips for use of extension cords

- Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis. Do not use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.

- Do not remove the prongs of an electrical plug. If plug prongs are missing, loose, or bent, replace the entire plug.

- Do not use an adapter or extension cord to defeat a standard grounding device. (e.g., Only place three-prong plugs in three-prong outlets; do not alter them to fit in a two-prong outlet.)

- Use extension cords that are the correct size or rating for the equipment in use. The diameter of the extension cord should be the same or greater than the cord of the equipment in use.

- Only use cords rated for outdoor use when using a cord outside.

- Do not run cords above ceiling tiles or through walls.

- Keep electrical cords away from areas where they may be pinched and areas where they may pose a tripping or fire hazard (e.g., doorways, walkways, under carpet, etc.).

- Always inspect the cord prior to use to ensure the insulation isn’t cut or damaged. Discard damaged cords, cords that become hot, or cords with exposed wiring.

- Never unplug an extension cord by pulling on the cord; pull on the plug.

- In locations where equipment be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special “angle extension cord” specifically designed for use in these instances.

Do you know where your exits are in an Emergency?

 

FEOSH Guy!

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The FEOSH Webpage has been in place for starting on 3 years now!   So, is it working?  What have you learned about FEOSH that you didn’t know.  I’d love to hear the feedback!!!

FEOSH Guy.

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