Asistel in English
Why heat stress happens
Although employers are required to provide drinking water on the job, many workers don’t drink enough of it. Some may feel their supervisor doesn’t approve or they don’t want to take time out when working at a piece rate. Others tend to wait until they feel thirsty. Whatever the reason, workers put themselves in danger by not drinking enough water or not drinking water often enough.
All heat illnesses can cause harm, and one of them -- heat stroke -- can kill. It is useful for people who work hard outdoors to understand how the body generates and copes with heat. Most important is the connection between fluid loss and heat illness.
Some of the heat that people have to deal with comes from the sun and surrounding air, but most of the heat that stresses workers is created by their own bodies. The body generates heat when moving muscles and limbs. It even produces some heat at rest.
To cool itself, the body first increases blood flow toward the body surface. From the skin, heat can be released. However, hot or humid weather slows the release. To compensate, sweat glands to kick in. Sweat carries heat out faster through pores.
Sweating draws water from the blood stream, leaving less fluid to carry oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, brain and other internal organs. The thicker blood makes the heart work harder. If the lost fluid is not replaced by drinking, this process can cause heat illness. The first stage of head illness is heat rash. The problems can get much worse – including cramping, confusion and, eventually, collapse.
If you notice heat illness symptoms in yourself, stop working, sit in the shade, drink water, loosen clothing, and tell your supervisor as soon as possible. If you notice symptoms in co-workers or friends, you can help them take these potentially life-saving steps.