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Two rules to follow when treating an employee for heatstroke

by , 22 September 2015
Heatstroke is caused by a person's temperature-regulating mechanisms failing under very high temperatures. It can occur from a combination of work load and environmental heat load.

If you have employees who work outdoors, then the risk of heatstroke among them is very real.

Having said that, here are three rules to keep in mind when treating work-related heatstroke:

Rule#1:

It is very important to realise heatstroke is considered a medical emergency.

And so in serious cases, admit the employee who has exertional heatstroke (EHS) or non-exertional heatstroke (NEHS) to the hospital for at least 48 hours.

In this time, doctors can monitor him for any complications.
 
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Rule#2:

If you believe that an employee might have heatstroke, cool him down immediately.

Doing so can greatly reduce any negative long-term outcomes or permanent injuries.

There are two general ways to achieve rapid cooling. They are:

·         Ice-water immersion. This can be a very effective way to bring down the core body temperature and is considered the most common method. But there can also be a disadvantage to this method in that shivering from the cold can create more heat. Other similar methods to ice-water immersion include placing ice-water sheets around the affected person or placing ice packs around the groin area to bring down the temperature.
 
·         Removing all of the employee's clothes, spraying him with warm water and directing a fan towards him to allow the heat to evaporate.
 

So, there are two general rules to keep in mind when one of your employees is suffering from heatstroke at your workplace. Remember that heatstroke is very serious and so ignoring it is not wise.

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