Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

With outside temperatures starting to soar, now is the time to ensure employers and workers stay vigilant about preventing heat illness at work.

Heat can cause more than just discomfort. Exposure to high heat and high humidity can be life threatening. Make sure you know the signs, symptoms and appropriate first-aid procedures for serious heat illnesses.

Two major heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion, if left untreated, may progress to deadly heat stroke. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Exhaustion, weakness
  • Fainting/Lightheadedness
  • Paleness
  • Headache
  • Clumsiness, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irritability

What to do:

  • Get to a cooler, air conditioned place
  • Drink water if fully conscious
  • Take a cool shower or use cold compresses

Heat Stroke

  • Sweating may or may not be present
  • Red or flushed, hot dry skin
  • Any symptoms of heat exhaustion but more severe
  • Confusion / Bizarre behavior
  • Convulsions before or during cooling
  • Collapse
  • Panting/rapid breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Note: may resemble a heart attack

What to do:

  • Call 911
  • Take immediate action to cool the person until help arrives

If your condition persists and you are unsure if you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911.