& Consulting, Inc.

Safety Tips

HEAT STRESS- DEALING WITH SOUTHEAST TEXAS HEAT

We were just complaining that it was too cold a couple of months ago, now it’s hot, real hot.  We deal with it each and every year.  There are cooler climates south of us and there are warmer climates north of us.  What makes it so dangerously hot here is our evil enemy- Relative Humidity.  The gulf breezes suck moisture from the coast and soak our air, which actually becomes very important when trying to work outside and stay cool.

The human body is an engineering phenomenon, it constantly works at self-preservation and wants to stay at a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees. Your circulatory system is in charge of that job and acts similar to a radiator.  When you’re idle, sitting behind your desk, or watching TV, blood is traveling around your entire body in equal amounts so everything is happy.   When you’re activity increases, muscle contractions create heat, and the body responds to this by opening up the blood vessels near the skin in order to dissipate that added heat and cool itself down.  If that is not enough cooling, the body kicks in the sweat glands to add to the cooling effect.  This is where the evil relative humidity comes into play.  In low humidity, the sweat on your skin is evaporated at such a rate that it is very efficient in cooling you down.  However, in our high humidity climate, there is not enough room in the air for our sweat to evaporate into and the cooling effect is less effective.  So, in SE Texas we sweat, and sweat a lot and in turn, we’ve got to drink a lot of water or sports drinks to aid in this process of cooling down. 

All workers who are in hot environments (outside, near a furnace, in a kitchen…) should recognize the initial signs of heat stress in themselves.  These symptoms usually start off with dizziness and headache and may progress into nausea and vomiting.  As the body becomes more dehydrated thus a higher than normal temperature, it will move more blood to the vital organs to preserve them and decrease the amount of blood traveling to the skin for cooling.  Next is a rapid rise in temperature leading to an altered mental status and possibly seizures, a condition commonly known as HEAT STROKE.

Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency and can quickly damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles and ultimately lead to death.  It occurs when the body is unable to sweat and the core temperature rises and effectively cooks the internal organs.  Signs include;

  • High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
  • Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
  • Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
  • Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
  • Headache. Your head may throb.

 Prevention-  Keep an eye on the heat advisories, drink plenty of water, work in the cooler hours if possible, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER, take frequent rest breaks in shaded cooler areas, drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine and heavy meals and drink plenty of water.

I Looked the Other Way!

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
It wasn’t that I didn’t care,
I had the time, and I was there.

But I didn’t want to seem the fool,
Or argue over a safety rule.
I knew he’d done the job before,
If I called it wrong, he might get sore.

The chances didn’t seem that bad,
I’d done the same, and he knew I had.
So I shook my head and walked on by,
He knew the risks as well as I.

He took the chance, I closed an eye,
And with that I let him die.
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.

Now every time I see his wife, I’ll know,
I should have saved his life.
The guilt is something I must bear,
But it isn’t something you need to share.

If you see a risk that others take,
That puts their health or life at stake.
The question asked, or thing you say,
Could help them live another day.

If you see a risk and walk away,
Then hope you never have to say,
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
(Found on a bulletin board in the Baker, MT office.)

Safety Tip 2

Your computers are often in need of updating their drivers to perform properly.
That’s our job.
Let Precise Safety update your drivers to perform properly.
Safety training is vital to your company.

Back To School

purestock_1574r-0575a.mediumBack to school time…slow down, watch for heavy traffic and pedestrians around schools, and stay off of your cell phones.