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Green Job Hazards: Solar Energy - Heat/Cold Stress

Solar energy workers often work in very hot weather where hazards include dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and death. Employers should monitor employees and workers should be trained to identify and report early symptoms of any heat-related illness. Workers may also be exposed to extreme cold weather conditions and should be protected from such conditions.

HEAT STROKE occurs when the body's system of temperature regulation fails and body temperature becomes abnormally high. Some of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Lack of sweating (usually) hot, dry skin, and
  • Very high body temperature

If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, medical treatment should be obtained immediately. While waiting for medical help, the worker should be:

  • Placed in a shady area and the outer clothing should be removed.
  • The worker's skin should be wetted and air movement around the worker should be increased
  • Fluids should be replaced as soon as possible.

HEAT EXHAUSTION. The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Weakness
  • Thirst and
  • Giddiness.

Workers suffering from heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot environment and given fluid replacement. They should also be encouraged to get adequate rest.

A QuickCard on heat-related illnesses provides more information on the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and what to do in such situations. Additional information on heat-related illnesses can also be found at the links below:

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