Those who live outside Minnesota often think of the state as a frigid tundra. If you live and work in the Gopher State, though, you know temperatures can soar during June, July and August. Still, as a construction worker, you probably cannot perform your job duties in an air-conditioned office.
As temperatures climb, you must take additional steps to protect yourself from the potentially deadly consequences of working in the heat. Here are three progressively worse heat-related injuries that may lead to serious and life-altering consequences.
1. Heat cramps
Heat cramps are often the first sign you have spent too much time in the sun. Typically, heat cramps occur when you engage in strenuous activities during excessive temperatures. If you develop the condition, you are likely to experience painful muscle spasms. For heat cramps to subside, you should rest and drink fluids.
2. Heat exhaustion
With prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, you may develop heat exhaustion. This condition typically has the following symptoms:
- Excessive sweating
- Fast heart rate
- Dizziness or faintness, especially when standing
While resting and retreating to a cool area may cure heat exhaustion, you should seek emergency medical care if your symptoms do not improve within an hour.
Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related injury you may suffer at work. With this condition, your body is unable to maintain a normal temperature. If your body temperature rises to more than 103 degrees, you should immediately go to the emergency room.
Heat cramps may progress to heatstroke more quickly than you think. Ultimately, because you know your body best, you should not be afraid to report a possible heat-related injury to your employer or to do what you need to protect your overall health.