Heat stress : risk factors
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Heat stress : risk factors

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      Workers should be aware of the many factors that can impact the risk of heat illness. Environment: 1. High temperatures, especially with high humidity, which makes sweating less effective. 2. Direct sun exposure. 3. Lack of wind or breeze to cool the body; however, when ambient conditions are higher than body temperature, warm airflow can actually increase heat gain. 4. Proximity to engines or other hot equipment. Activities: 1. High exertion. 2. Not enough rest breaks. 3. Repeated strenuous days in the heat. 4. High motivation to push through discomfort from heat strain. No Acclimatization: 1. New employees. 2. Experienced employees returning from time away from the heat. 3. Acclimatized workers who experience a sudden change in worksite temperature, such as heat waves or mining in a new area. Medications: Heat tolerance can be affected by medications taken for - 1. cold, allergies, and congestion. 2. muscle spasms. 3. blood pressure. 4. urine production (diuretics). 5. high blood pressure. 6. diarrhea. 7. dizziness/vertigo. 8. psychosis. 9. depression. Dehydration: One of the most important risk factors. Prior Heat Illness: Increases the risk of heat illness in the future. Health Conditions: 1. Short-term illnesses, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or respiratory infections. 2. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. 3. Being overweight or obese. 4. Poor physical fitness. Other Factors: 1. Age over 60. 2. Non-breathable clothing or personal protective equipment. 3. Alcohol use in the past 24 hours. NIOSH no. 20049652
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