Safety Tip of the Week – Heat Stress

Heat Stress

Hot conditions put your body under a lot of stress. Physical activity stresses the body even more. When heat is combined with physical activity, loss of fluids, fatigue, and other conditions can lead to a number of heat-related illnesses and injuries. Death is even possible.


When the body cannot dispose of excess heat, it will store it. When this happens, the body’s core temperature rises and the heart rate increases. As the body continues to store heat, the individual begins to lose concentration and has difficulty focusing on a task, may become irritable or sick, and often loses the desire to drink. The next stage is most often fainting; and death is possible if the person is not removed from the heat stress.

Ways to Prevent Heat Stress:

  • Drink plenty of cool water (one small cup every 15-20 minutes).

  • Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable (like cotton) clothing.

  • Take your breaks away from heat sources or direct sunlight allowing your body to cool down.

  • Avoid eating large meals before working in hot environment.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages (these beverages make the body lose water and increase the risk for heat illnesses).

Workers Are at Increased Risk When They:

  • Take certain medication (check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacy and ask if any medicines you are taking affect you when working in hot environments);

  • Have had a heat-induced illness in the past;

  • Wear personal protective equipment (like respirators or suits); and

  • Are older.

    Heat Stress Can Kill…Take Time to Cool Down…and Hydrate!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_329_HeatStress.pdf (279.92 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_329-HeatStress_esp.pdf (271.87 kb)

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