Governor's office, Red Cross provide safety tips for hot weather
By Ari Burack, Bay City News Service
July 25, 2006
As record high temperatures continued to sizzle parts of Northern
California Monday, the governor's office and the American Red
Cross issued a series of safety tips for outdoor workers and for
the general public.
For outdoor workers, the governor's office and the California
Division of Occupational Safety and Health recommended allowing
the body to gradually acclimate to hot temperatures, drinking
plenty of water and taking rest breaks in the shade.
Also, on very hot days, workers should consider starting early
in the day and finishing early.
More information on heat illness, workers' rights and safety
issues can be found on the Cal/OSHA Web site at www.dir.ca.gov
or by calling (415) 703-5100.
The governor's office also provided information on local "cool
centers'' for people without air conditioning. Information can
be found by calling the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. at (800)
The American Red Cross' heat safety tips for the general public
included: wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing and a hat;
carrying plenty of liquids and drinking often, even if not thirsty,
and avoiding alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body; eating
small meals and avoiding high-protein foods, which increase heat;
avoiding strenuous activity, especially during the hottest hours
of the day; staying indoors when possible; and making sure to
check up on older neighbors.
For victims of heat cramps or heat exhaustion due to heavy physical
exertion, the American Red Cross advised bringing the victim to
a cool place to rest comfortably. The victim should be given half
a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Cool, wet cloths should
be applied to the body as well. If the person vomits or loses
consciousness, call 911 immediately.
Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is an even more serious,
life-threatening condition that can cause death if not treated
Symptoms include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness;
rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; and body temperature
rising as high as 105 degrees. The American Red Cross advised
calling 911 immediately and quickly cooling the body in a cool
bath or with wet sheets. If the victim refuses water or vomits
or experiences changes in consciousness, do not give anything
to eat or drink.
More information on heat safety can be found by calling the Santa
Clara Valley Chapter at (408) 577-1000 or visiting the Web site
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.