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Heat-related illnesses can occur in the workplace

A number of Americans work in outdoor and indoor environments that are hot and humid on a daily basis. Although some people can become accustomed to working in such harsh conditions, high temperatures can be brutal, especially when people are trying to work. When the body losses an excessive amount of fluid and is unable to regulate its core temperature, it can cause serious symptoms which could cause illness, permanent injuries and even death in some cases.

One of the most dangerous types of heat-related illnesses is heat stroke, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. People sweat in order to control their body temperature. However, when people get too hot or workers become dehydrated, the body may lose its ability to sweat. As a result, the body cannot cool itself and the person may lose consciousness. Before a stroke occurs, people often experience heat exhaustion, which includes signs of nausea, weakness, irritability, headaches and heavy sweating. If a worker begins to feel these symptoms, they may want to take a break and call for medical help if needed.

Heat cramps occur when the body loses salt and electrolytes through excessive sweating, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. When the body lacks salts and electrolytes, the muscles may begin to cramp and spasm. Heat rash is another problem that is commonly seen in hot workplaces, and consists of a skin irritation due to heavy sweating and heat.

When an employer fails to provide a safe work environment for their employees, they may be held responsible if an injury should occur. 

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