Heat Illness Prevention
James D. Smith, M.S., CSP
Heat illnesses are preventable but if left unchecked can lead to death. At times, workers may be required to work in hot environments for long periods. When the human body is unable to maintain a normal temperature, heat-related illnesses can occur and may result in serious health problems. Below is information to public entities on measures it should take to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Four Heat Illnesses
Athletes are familiar with this syndrome caused by salt depletion. It is easily treated with rest and electrolyte-balanced fluids such as sports drinks or drink plain water and eat salty chips or nuts. Avoid salt tablets due to the risks of overdosing.
Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms – usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs – that may occur in association with strenuous activity. People who sweat a lot during strenuous activity are prone to heat cramps. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture.
Fainting (syncope) episode happens when blood pools in the legs, often after standing too long. It is temporary; being horizontal usually prompts a return to consciousness. The biggest risk is an injury from falling.
To help blood return to the heart, elevate the person’s legs, and cool the body with wet compresses and fanning. Turn the unconscious person on his or her side to prevent choking.
One exception is if the person has been working hard; then consider the fainting due to heat stroke and call 911. Check the ABCs (airway, breathing and circulation) and cool him or her down immediately. Anyone who faints should be medically evaluated before returning to routine activity.
This condition is serious and is caused by severe dehydration. Symptoms can include fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, plus early neurological signs such as headache, impaired judgment and anxiety. Exhaustion causes profuse sweating and cool, clammy skin. The body’s response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating. Move the person out of the heat, provide fluids as tolerated, strip off extra clothing, and cool them by wetting clothing and fanning. Have them medically evaluated.
The most serious form of heat-related illness happens when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. This is a medical emergency. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. It can look like exhaustion except the body temperature is 104 degrees F or higher, and the brain is seriously affected.
Neurological effects can include confusion, irrational or aggressive behavior, incoherent speech, collapse, convulsion and coma. When the body’s heat-coping mechanisms have failed, sweating stops and the skin becomes red, dry and hot to the touch. Call 911 and quickly lower the body temperature.
Prevent Heat Illness with Three Steps – Hydrate, Assess, Acclimate
1. Hydrate – Drink ½ Liter Every ½ Hour
Hydration is the most important step to combating heat stress. In extreme heat and humidity, workers should use the half-half rule: drink ½ liter every ½ hour. Workers should not wait until they feel thirsty to drink; if they are thirsty they may already have lost 2% of their body’s water. The onset of heat exhaustion can begin after losing 3% of the body’s water and heat stroke occurs once 8% is lost.
Assess the relative danger of the CONDITIONS and your PERSONAL risk factors. Conditions: Be aware that high heat, high humidity, low air circulation all create a more dangerous working environment. Any time more than one of these variables is present, the danger is compounded. In these conditions, workers need to take breaks in the shade and wear light, breathable clothing and hats.
Personal Risks: Assess your own personal risk that make you more susceptible to heat illnesses, such as poor conditioning, acute dehydrating illnesses, chronic diseases, recreational drugs, diets and certain beverages and some medications.
If an employee is new to a job or is returning after time away ease them back into fulltime work over the course of 5 days. Starting at halftime or 50% effort and increasing to fulltime work load by 10% each day can greatly reduce the employee’s susceptibility to heat stress.
The information contained in this report was obtained from sources, which to the best of the writer’s knowledge, are authentic and reliable.
Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc. makes no guarantee of results, and assumes no liability in connection with either the information herein contained, or the safety suggestions herein made. over, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein, or that abnormal or unusual circumstances not warrant or require further or additional procedures.
By Bryan Carnaggio
Story Updated: May 1, 2015 at 9:02 PM CDT
BOLIVAR, Tenn. — The Bolivar Fire Department has created a unique fire training exercise. It's called the Bolivar Air Management Facility, which is essentially a maze built inside a trailer.
The purpose for it is to mimic obstacles firefighters could face inside a burning home.
"Every day when they go out to a job they don't know if they are going to make it home," James Futrell said.
That's why training can mean the difference between life and death. Bolivar Fire Department firefighters created a one-of-a-kind maze built on a trailer to simulate a burning building.
Firefighters say it could one day save their life.
"This is the SCBA trailer. It's a survival trailer," Tommy Breeden said. "Once you go in there, you will eventually have to find your way out."
SCBA stands for self-contained breathing apparatus. It's the gear firefighters wear to breathe in thick smoke.
The trailer is designed to teach the men and women who run into burning homes how to maximize their breathing.
The maze was funded by the city and donations from residents such as Brian Smith.
"These guys put their lives on the line for us, so we do anything we can to help them," Smith said.
The maze is made up of three levels: a tunnel, a tight rope jungle and even a trap door.
"We are helping them with real-life scenarios," Smith said. "When they go into a burning building, they are going to have to go in and shut the electric off and be mindful of the electric in there."
The Bolivar Fire Department says they would like to thank the city council, the firefighters who built the trailer, Roger Henson for donating the trailer, Henderson Heating and Air for donating a unit and Brian Smith Electric.
The department says they hope to continue to build on the trailer and turn the area into a complex for other fire departments to come train.
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By WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Staff
Story Updated: May 1, 2015 at 9:03 PM CDT
JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson firemen are working to make fire safety a priority for Hub City residents.
Leaders for the Jackson Fire Department, residents and city leaders gathered Friday morning to dedicate a new program starting this summer that helps students learn fire safety.
The mobile home will be transformed into a new training site for seniors and second graders. Once the unit is complete, it will be used as a simulator for teaching people how to escape home fires.
"Thinking calmly, remaining calm, you get out of a situation much easier than panicking," said Rico Bryson with the Jackson Fire Department. "We're trying to give the tools and the training that they need so they can remain calm and get out of the house safely."
Jackson Police Unveil New Support Center
By Dan Lampariello
Story Updated: May 1, 2015 at 11:04 PM CDT
DOWNTOWN JACKSON, Tenn. — Cameras watching over some of Jackson's most high crime areas are now being monitored by officers 24-7 from one location.
It is new technology the department says they hope will reduce crime.
Eight 80” monitors light up an old conference room at the Jackson Police Department, now home to the station's new operations support center.
It gives a birds-eye view of the city's high crime areas.
"We're looking for large crowds gathering, any kind of activity that may indicate a fight or anything associated with drug activity," Interim Jackson Police Chief Julian Wiser said.
With officers monitoring the cameras 24 hours a day, the department said they hope it will deter crime.
"If we have a uptick in crime anywhere in the city, we're going to have a mapping system so they can move resources up there," Chief Wiser said.
The two officers, who are watching the cameras on rotating shifts, have the ability to find out different things that are happening around the city by even zooming in and getting a better description of a suspect.
"If they can actually zoom in and see crime and see faces that's definitely better for the city and an upgrade for the city," resident Porsha Grimes said.
Currently all 18 cameras are scattered around neighborhoods from east to west Jackson, but Chief Wiser said there are nine more on the way come July.
"We have people calling in, wanting to get cameras up," Wiser said. "It's really just had a positive impact."
And residents already have ideas on where the next ones should be.
"I think there need to be more over in the East Chester area and further up north area as well," Grimes said.
The operation center was completely funded by a number of grants
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Smithsonian Names Sevierville a Top Best Small Town to Visit in 2015
April 17, 2015, 10:25 am
A familiar location in East Tennessee has grabbed national attention by being placed on a list of best small towns to visit for 2015.
Smithsonian.com added Sevierville as a top pick for most amazing American small towns this year.
The hometown of world-famous performer Dolly Parton comes in at number eight.
“I think a lot of people have been discovering the small gems that are in Sevierville,” said director of the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Amanda Marr. “It’s really exciting to be recognized on a national level.”
The article highlights some of Sevierville’s main attractions: Dollywood, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.
From amusement parks, festivals, hiking, zipline tours and historic sites, Sevierville offers a wide variety of activities, sites and sounds for residents and tourists.
The Smithsonian’s list of 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015
1. Estes Park, Colorado
2. Nantucket, Massachusetts
3. Stuart, Florida
4. Traverse City, Michigan
5. Cooperstown, New York
6. Port Townsend, Washington
7. Calistoga, California
8. Sevierville, Tennessee
9. Boonville, Missouri
10. Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11. Edenton, North Carolina
12. Bayfield, Wisconsin
13. Nashville, Indiana
14. Put-in-Bay, Ohio
15. Whitefish, Montana
16. Thibodaux, Louisiana
17. Custer, South Dakota
18. Stowe, Vermont
19. Homer, Alaska
20. Vernal, Utah
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Just Another Way Public Entity Partners Partners with You!
It’s no surprise better-trained employees make better work decisions, which can translate into lower claims for your entity. With a strong belief that your success is our success, Public Entity Partners began offering online training last year through Local Government Risk Academy. Thanks to our members for signing up and sharing your success stories!
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In the past 11 months, more than 1,700 municipal employees have passed training programs through Public Entity Partners’s online Local Government Risk Academy. Topics include human resources, law enforcement, management, and safety and environment. Public Entity Partners offers this program at no cost to its members.
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Fireworks lead to thousands of injuries requiring emergency room treatment, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These dazzling but dangerous devices can burn up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause burns, lacerations, amputations and blindness. Stay safe by always leaving fireworks to professionals.
Fireworks Safety Tips
· Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.
· Treat all fireworks, whether legal or illegal for consumers, as suitable only for use by trained professionals.
· If you find fireworks, do not touch them; instead, direct authorities to them.
· Leave any area where amateurs are using fireworks.
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