- Heat Cramps: Individual is sweating profusely, may be drinking a lot of water but body is failing to replace body salt
- Treatment: Massage cramp till cramping subsides and if no other symptoms arise give the individual a sports drink or 8 oz of salt water every 15 minutes for an hour
- Heat Exhaustion: Individual is profusely sweating, extreme weak or giddy
Treatment: Sip water for an hour while lying down, remove restrictive or tight clothing and raise the individual's feet 8 to 12 inches, apply a wet towel to head, and fan them to cool body temperature.
- Heat Stroke: When the individual's body heat regulating system completely breaks down. If treatment is not immediately given death can occur
Treatment: Call 9-1-1 immediately and help cool down the individual while waiting for emergency assistance to arrive.
Heat Stress: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating in the Summer Heat
- Train workers and supervisors on Control of Heat Stress, Recognition, Prevention and Treatment of heat illnesses.
- Acclimate workers unless climate change is gradual. Lighter workloads for the first 5-7 days with longer rest periods for following 5-7 days then gradually increase time of work in the heat while closely monitoring the workers reaction to heat.
- Manage work actively through: setting up work breaks, rotating tasks among workers, scheduling heavy work for cooler hours, and postpone nonessential tasks.
- Establish a water drinking program for worker to remain properly hydrated.
- Insure that new hires are advised of the hazards and warning signs of heat stress.
Choose Water, Prevent Heat Stroke
Many roofers choose energy drinks over water to maintain energy levels while exuding so much energy through physical labor. While ingesting energy drinks sends caffeine rushing through the blood stream causing the individual to feel more awake and energized, energy drinks should not be a substitute for water as they are not an adequate source of hydration for the body especially in hot environments. While energy drinks not only lack the ability to properly hydrate, when drank in excess the high levels of caffeine ingested can cause your heart rate to spike and blood pressure to rise which is a bad combination when pared with hot temperatures. Drinking energy drinks while roofing raises your chances of experiencing heat stress and heat stroke.