High heat, high humidity and lack of air movement puts stress on the human body and can cause heat-related illness. Follow these tips– or in various combinations depending on the type of indoor environment and associated building population:
Monitoring/Evaluation of the indoor environment (for conditions that might cause heat-related illness)
- Use ventilation and shading strategies to help control indoor temperatures.
- Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as designated cooling zones, malls and libraries.
- Use portable electric fans to draw hot air out of rooms or draw in cooler air. Do not point electric fans directly towards people when the room temperature is hotter than 90°F.
- Stay hydrated – drink water or other nonalcoholic fluids regularly.
Development and Implementation of Engineering Controls – (creating a cooler environment)
- Increase air velocity.
- Use reflective or heat-absorbing shielding or barriers.
- Reduce steam leaks, wet floors, or humidity.
Development and Implementation of Administrative Controls – (scheduling, reduced activity)
- Limit time in the heat and/or increase recovery time spent in a cool area.
- Reduce the metabolic (physically difficult) demands of the job.
- Use tools intended to minimize manual strain.
- Increase the number of workers per task.
Development and Implementation of Education/Training (general communication of preventing risk)
- Recognition of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and administration of first aid.
- Causes of heat-related illnesses and steps to reduce the risk. These include drinking enough water and monitoring the color and amount of urine output.
- Proper care and use of heat-protective clothing and equipment and the added heat load caused by exertion, clothing, and personal protective equipment.
- Effects of other factors (drugs, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on tolerance to heat stress.
- The importance of acclimatization.
- The importance of immediately reporting any symptoms or signs of heat-related illness.
- Procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat-related illness and for contacting emergency medical services.