Heat Stress

HEAT STRESS – THE FACTS!

FACT: More people die from HEAT STRESS
than from hurricanes and earthquakes combined.

Q: What is Heat Stress?
A:Heat stress is a build-up of body heat generated either internally by muscle use or externally by exposure to a hot and/or humid environment. It reduces capability for sustained activity and speeds up fatigue, resulting in too much heat being absorbed, causing stress, illness or even death.
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments are at risk of developing heat stress, resulting in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.

Q: What is Heat Stroke?
A:Heat Stroke is caused as a direct result of Heat Stress and occurs when the body temperature uncontrollably rises above 41°C or higher within 10 – 15 minutes. Internal body systems start to shut down, which can be life threatening or result in irreversible damage if emergency treatment is not given. Over 20% of heat stroke victims die, regardless of age or health. Side effects can include brain and kidney damage.
The symptoms include confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, hot dry skin, irrational behaviour, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, convulsions, coma and death.

Q: Can Heat Stress be prevented?
A: Where Heat Stress is caused by physical exertion and/or hot environments, it can be prevented by taking frequent rest breaks, staying hydrated and carefully monitoring body temperature. However, in situations demanding prolonged exposure to a hot environment, a personal cooling system is required as a matter of health and safety. Cool Banditz® personal cooling products provide a personal cooling system which works simply and effectively on the scientific process of ‘Evaporation’, cooling the body by 5° by wearing the products in contact with the ‘pulse points’ in the body – it is a medically proven fact that if the pulse points are kept cool, then the whole body will stay cool.

Cool Banditz™ evaporative cooling products have proven invaluable in the Military, Law Enforcement and Industrial applications worldwide as they are able to reduce body temperature by 5°

NB: An increase in body temperature of 2° can affect mental functioning; a 5° increase can result in serious illness such as heart attacks, falls, equipment accidents and even death.

This diagram demonstrates how temperatures above 30°C affect efficiency. The study was carried out by University of Liverpool, on location in the African desert to ascertain the effects of heat on psycho-motor efficiency.

Other conditions associated with excessive heat include heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat-related disorders (e.g., dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, loss of physical/mental work capacity).
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. Employees are responsible for ensuring they do not become victims of Heat Stress.

How We Cope With Heat
Your body is always generating heat and passing it to the environment. The harder your body is working, the more heat it has to lose. When the environment is hot or humid, your body must work harder to get rid of its heat.

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