Heat frustration is one of a range of heat-related syndromes. Specifically, heat frustration is when a person’s body loses too much water or salt through sweat. As a result, dehydration sets in. The symptoms associated with heat frustration can be very dangerous – particularly if left untreated.
In this article from APT, we’ll be going through the steps to recognise heat frustration early, so that you can ensure the health and safety of your crew. Afterwards, we’ll be going through the various ways that you can prevent and treat heat frustration. Our goal with this article is to give you the skills you need to keep your crew safe during those frighteningly hot summer days.
Preventing Heat Frustration
Before we go through the symptoms you should be looking out for, we’ll be going through the ways that you can prevent heat frustration from developing. While Heat Frustration can be serious, it’s relatively simple to prevent.
If you want to keep your team from developing heat frustration, you should do the following
Dehydration is the main cause of heat frustration. By keeping yourself and your team hydrated, you will be minimising most of the risk associated with heat frustration. Water is the best liquid to stave off heat frustration. However, sports drinks rich in electrolytes are also a great way to stave off dehydration.
Wear Light-Coloured Clothing
Dark colours – particularly dark blues and black – absorb heat and light very effectively. As a result, they heat up very quickly and retain that heat very efficiently. When you wear dark clothes, a similar process occurs – the coloured clothing absorbs the heat and the light, and in turn that clothing heats up. This puts you in danger of heat frustration.
In contrast, bright, light-coloured clothing reflects light and heat very effectively – greatly minimising the risk of heat frustration.
Avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm
From roughly 11 am to 3 pm the sun is at its highest in the sky and when we feel most of its energy. As a result, this period is when the temperature is at its highest for the day. So, to avoid those high temperatures all you need to do is to avoid going out at that time of day. You could encourage your crew to eat lunch indoors, or if you’re working outside schedule some shift time so that your crew’s exposure to the sun is minimised.
Heat Frustration Symptoms
Now that we’ve gone through the ways of preventing heat frustration, it’s time that we discuss the symptoms.
Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with heat frustration are rather vague and difficult to spot on their own. For example, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll notice someone on your crew experiencing muscle cramps or headaches, but you may notice if someone is sweating heavily or is demonstrating mild confusion.
As such, when you think some members of your team are at risk of heat frustration, it’s worth it to speak to your team and have them watch out for heat frustration, both amongst themselves and with each other. The fact of the matter is that you can’t be everywhere and watch everything at once. By keeping a look out for the symptoms themselves, your team will be much safer than they would otherwise be.
Symptoms of heat frustration include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme thirst
- Cool, moist skin with goose bumps in the heat
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure when standing
- Mild confusion
- Decreased urine output
Treating Heat Frustration
Treating heat frustration is relatively simple. Most of the time, anyone suffering from heat frustration won’t need to go to the hospital, and most people who report symptoms of heat frustration report feeling better within an hour or two, provided they take the following steps:
- Firstly, move the person out of the sun. If you can, put them under thick shade or take them inside. This will allow them to cool down quicker, which should alleviate most of the symptoms. If you have one, put them under a fan. This will further help cool them down.
- Next, you should try to get the person suffering from heat frustration to either sit or lie down. This should help stabilise their blood pressure.
- If possible (and only whilst lying down) encourage the person to raise their feet slightly. Doing this makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body – which should also help to stabilise their blood pressure
- Get them to drink plenty of water. This will help to solve their dehydration issue. At the same time, sports or rehydration drinks are fine, too, as they will help to replace the sufferer’s lost electrolytes.
Once you’ve taken these steps, the affected person should be well on their way to recovery.
Health and Safety Awareness Courses
APT offers a range of health and safety courses designed to make your place of work as safe as possible – including Heath and Safety Awareness courses, fire marshal training and qualifications courses, and iosh managing safely courses.
Our courses give you all the information you need. Whether you’re looking to do a risk assessment, raise fire safety awareness, or gain your iosh Managing Safely certificate, you can gain the skills you need at APT Health and Safety Training.
For more information about our range of HSA courses in Stoke-On-Trent, please contact APT today.