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Heat Stress

People may suffer from heat stress during hot,  humid conditions.  Because the climate at A&M-Texarkana is conductive to heat stress, people must take preventative measures to reduce their risk.  To prevent heat stress, employees should limit strenuous physical activity during the hottest portion of the day, wear a brimmed hat when in the sun, take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids.

Factors that contribute to heat stress include 

  • Environmental - temperature, humidity, radiant heat source, air circulation, work load
  • Clothing - weight, color, additional PPE
  • Personal - age, weight, fitness, use of drugs, alcohol, caffeine, medication, and prior related illness

Ways to prevent heat stress include

  • Drink plenty of fluids - avoid or minimize alcohol and caffeine
  • Acclimatization 
  • Choose proper clothing
  • Consider heat when scheduling tasks
  • Implement work/rest cycles
  • Eat properly
  • Sleep and rest

Heat stress occurs in two forms:  heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Before these heat related illnesses occur, the body often sends out warning signals such as extreme thirst and dehydration, heat cramps and heat rash.  Individuals should be on the lookout for these conditions and take preventative measures before the more sever conditions of heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur.  

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is usually caused by strenuous physical activity and hot, humid conditions.  Because heat exhaustion is the body's response to insufficient water and salt, it should be treated as quickly as possible

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • exhaustion and restlessness
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • cold, clammy, moist skin
  • pale face
  • cramps in abdomen and lower limbs
  • fast, shallow breathing
  • rapid, weak pulse
  • falling body temperature
  • fainting

Take the following steps to administer first aid for heat exhaustion:

  • CALL 6611 for UPD assistance 
  • Have the victim lie down in a cool or shaded place
  • if the victim is conscious, have him/her slowly sip cool water
  • if the victim is sweating profusely, have him or her sip cool water that contains one teaspoon of table salt per pint of water
  • if the victim is unconscious or is conscious but does not improve, seek medical aid as soon as possible

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is usually caused by exposure to extreme heat and humidity and/or a feverish illness. Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature by sweating.  Heat stroke is extremely dangerous and may be fatal if not treated immediately.

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • hot, dry skin
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • high temperature
  • strong pulse
  • noisy breathing
  • unconsciousness

IMMEDIATELY take the following steps to administer first aid for heat stroke:

  • CALL 6611 or 911 for UPD and ambulance assistance
  • If possible, move the victim to a cool place
  • Remove the victim's clothing
  • If the victim is conscious, place him/her in a half-sitting position and support the head and shoulders
  • If the victim is unconscious, place him/her on their side with the head facing sideways
  • Fan the victim and sponge the body with cool water
  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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