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Heat Wave Affects new York Construction Workers

Construction workers need to prevent heat-related injury.

The temperatures in New York City are hovering in the 90s with high humidity. A 57-year old Staten Island man was the first death linked to the summer heat, according to ABC News (7.17.13). Heat advisories were issued for all NYC and everyone living or working here needs to take precautions to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat. The extreme heat can be especially dangerous to those who work outside. Heat is a serious hazard in construction.

Summer construction work and heat-related illness

Heat rash.

This is often the first sign of heat-related illness. Clusters of what looks to be small pimples or blisters may appear in sweaty areas of the body.

Heat cramps.

A person’s body is saying that it is hot and becoming dehydrated. The cramps usually appear suddenly. Treatments include moving to a cooler area and drinking fluids.

Heat exhaustion.

This is a serious condition that occurs when body temperature gets too high. Symptoms may include thirst, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Treatments include moving to a cooler area and drinking fluids. Wet towels may be used to lower body temperature.

Heat stroke.

The most severe heat illness can actually be deadly. Signs of heatstroke include confusion and disorientation. A person’s pulse may be fast and weak, and their body temperature will rise above normal. In severe cases, victims can suffer seizures, fall into a coma, or even die. Supervisors can prevent heat-related illnesses by making sure their employees are aware of the dangers, monitoring their activities, and encouraging them to stay hydrated. Employers must monitor their outdoor workers to prevent construction accidents and illness

When it comes to the heat, construction workers need to recognize signs of heat-related illness and not see this as a sign of weakness. Workers should be responsible for their own health but, if they refuse to admit to their supervisors that the heat is affecting them, supervisors have to take the responsibility, monitoring workers and watching for signs that employees may be suffering.


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