Health & Safety

August 9, 2013

Heat injuries — No time to get complacent

The high temperatures for Phoenix through the month of August continue to stay in the low 100s. But, it’s only halfway through the summer and heat injuries can still happen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, people who work in hot environments may be at risk for heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries.

“What we see here at Luke Air Force Base most often is one form or another of heat illness from exertion,” said Maj. Jordan Inouye, 56th Medical Operations Squadron.

The CDC lists four different types of heat injuries: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rashes.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.

Any of these heat injuries are possible for people working on the flightline but can be prevented.

“Using common sense can prevent a lot of heat injuries from happening,” Inouye said. “For example, if it is really hot and humid outside, then we all need to take frequent breaks for hydration and cooling down. Bad things can happen if we are not conditioned appropriately and fail to recognize our bodies are overheating to the point of exhaustion.”

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

  • Call 911 and notify the supervisor
  • Move the affected worker to a cool, shaded area

Cool the worker using methods such as:

  • Soaking the clothes with water
  • Spraying, sponging or showering the body with water
  • Fanning the body

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

Heavy sweating

  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing

A worker suffering from heat exhaustion should be treated with:

  • Rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area
  • Drinking plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages
  • Taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
  • Heat cramps can occur as muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms or legs

Workers with heat cramps should:

  • Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage
  • Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside b cause further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Seek medical attention if the worker has heart problems, is on a low-sodium diet or the cramps do not subside within an hour

Symptoms of heat rash include:

  • A red cluster of pimples or small blisters most likely on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases
  • Workers experiencing heat rash should:
  • Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible
  • Keep the affected area dry
  • Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>