Whether you’re feeling the heat yet or not, the summer season is well on its way across Canada, which means it’s prime time to talk about an important topic that can have deadly consequences: heat stroke.
Hot, humid weather mixed in with physical exertion is extremely stressful on our bodies. We sweat to regulate our body temperature – but if we overexert ourselves in the heat, our bodies build more heat than they can lose. The World Health Organization recommends that your body’s temperature should remain below 38°C, which is only one degree higher than normal.
Signs of Heat Stroke
What are the signs of heat stroke? You’ll start feeling exhausted. Dizziness, mental confusion, headaches, and general weakness will set in next. If your core body temperature isn’t cooled down, then unconsciousness, organ failure, and even death will result.
How to Mitigate the Risk of Heat Stroke
So what can be done? Hydration is an often overlooked piece. Proper clothing goes a long way. There are many lightweight fabrics now that are available (even in Hi-Viz!) that will help. Cooling towels, headbands, or vests are great pieces of tech that can provide up to four hours of cooling.
Monitoring weather conditions (temperature, wind, and humidity) can also give us insight into when it might be too hot. And no, I don’t mean the weather app on your phone! Use a WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) monitor and the associated index to provide you with work/rest guidelines.
To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve assembled a list of our favourite safety and cooling products for summer. There may be a few items on there you haven’t yet considered for your summer PPE program. And as always, if you’ve got any burning hot questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.