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What is Heat Stress?

Heat stress occurs as the body attempts to control its temperature. It is typically brought on during physical labor in hot temperatures. 

Heat Stress can Result From:

Heat exhaustion - Excessive loss of water and salt

Heat stroke - Rapid rise in body temperature (106°F in 10-15 minutes) can result in death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Factors That Contribute to Heat Stress

  • Age - Ability to produce sweat decreases with age
  • Gender - Males begin sweating at a lower temperature than females
  • Fitness level - "Efficiency" of sweat
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) - More fat insulates the core, increasing sweat production
  • Use of alcohol
  • Use of caffeine - Including sodas and energy drinks
  • Use of medications
  • Diet - Too much or too little sodium
  • Dehydration - Not consuming enough water
  • Environment - Temperature and humidity
  • Activity level - Degree of physical activity

Typical Warning Signs

  • Heat Cramping - Depletion of salt in muscles
  • Heat rashes - Skin irritation (blocked sweat glands cause sweat to collect under skin surface)
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea​​

How to Reduce the Effects

  • Shade - Take advantage of shade when possible
  • Rest - Take regular rest breaks
  • Hydration - Stay hydrated 
  • Proper attire - Wear clothing that doesn't trap body heat and allows for evaporation cooling
  • Limit alcohol consumption 
  • Know the warning signs

G&K has a full line of cool FR products to help you combat heat stress.  From shirts, coveralls, pants or jeans, G&K can provide safety and image solutions based on your needs and your individualized work-site safety assessment. See our products that help reduce heat stress:

FR Enhanced Visibility

FR Vented Enhanced Visibility

FR Knits