construction 1145406CHAMPAIGN – As temperatures rise, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging outdoor workers to familiarize themselves with the warning signs and preventative measures for heat-related illnesses.

“As summer approaches, so do the dangers of working outside during hot weather,” Bennett said. “For workers who are exposed to the heat over the course of a work day, taking safety measures is an important part of staying healthy and comfortable.”

More than half of outdoor, heat-related deaths occur in the first few days of working in hot situations because the body needs to build a tolerance to heat gradually. Workers that do not acclimatize to the heat and humidity face a much greater risk factor for serious injury or death, according to the Illinois Department of Labor.

While heat can affect anyone, it poses specific dangers to workers who do physical labor in the humidity – both indoors or outdoors.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related health problem and can be fatal if not recognized and treated quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed

To prevent heat-induced illnesses, frequent breaks in the shade to drink cold water are recommended. For more information and other recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov.

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