1. Heat Stress 101

    It seems like just yesterday we were experiencing a polar vortex through the middle of the US and begging for warmer weather. Well, that warmer weather is finally here. Working in the cold has risks – we broke those down in our Cold Stress 101 blog post and working in the heat has its own set of risks. This week our Gear Experts® are going to talk about heat stress, symptoms, and ways to prevent it.

    Heat Stress


    Like we mentioned above, the heat of the summer can not only be uncomfortable, but it can have a huge impact on the job site in the form of heat stress and UV overexposure. Heat stress not only decreases employee performance, costing employer’s money and productivity, but it can be a very serious health risk. In fact, heat stress hospitalizes nearly 3,000 workers every year. Heat stress can take many forms like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Stress Symptoms, Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke


    Heat Stress Symptoms

    Some symptoms of heat stress include:

    • Rash;
    • Cramps;
    • Dizziness;
    • Headache;
    • Nausea;
    • Confusion;
    • Heavy Sweating;
    • Weakness
    • Seizures; and
    • Unconsciousness

    Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is when the body is losing fluid faster than it’s being rehydrated. Headaches, physical weakness, heavy sweating, and nausea are all signs of heat exhaustion. If you experience these symptoms find a cool place to rest, stay out of direct sunlight, and try to rehydrate your body with fluids. If symptoms do not improve in a reasonable amount of time, seek medical attention.

    Heat Stroke

    Heat stroke is when your body can no longer regulate your temperature properly. Convulsions, loss of consciousness, lack of sweating, or difficulty breathing are all signs of heat stroke. If you experience these symptoms you need to seek medical attention immediately because they are potentially fatal.

    Hydration is Key


    Obviously, the best way to avoid heat stress is to avoid being outside in the heat. However, we know that isn’t a realistic tip because the world doesn’t stop moving on hot days. So, the next best way to avoid heat stress is proper hydration. Strenuous work and high-temperature environments can result in a worker losing multiple liters of water in a single hour.

    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations, workers should be drinking between 24 and 32 ounces of water every hour. This amount could increase as temperatures rise.

    Clothing Plays a Role


    Clothing also plays a huge role when it comes to heat management. After all, wearing a winter coat in 100-degree weather isn’t exactly a good idea. Not only does clothing protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun (UV exposure), but it also allows the body to make the most of its natural regulatory processes (sweating).

    Summer Workwear

    Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing will maximize the effectiveness of sweating. Light colored clothes will help reduce the amount of heat your clothing absorbs and, as mentioned above, will help protect your skin from UV rays. Full brim hard hats help keep that hot sun from direct contact with your skin as well.

    Hard hats / Helmets

    Unfortunately, when it comes to hard hats and helmets that are required on the job site, the options you have are often limited. A hard hat or helmet that is exposed to direct sunlight can be like having a little oven on top of your head. On top of that, full brim hard hats don’t exactly offer a ton of coverage for sun protection.

    Hard hat Neck Shades


    With hard hats being required, but not having a whole lot of protection, hard hat neck shades have stepped in to bridge that gap. Hard hat neck shades easily connect to the suspension of any hard hat or helmet and can make a serious difference when working in the summer heat.


    The Chill-Its line from Ergodyne have been designed to help prevent heat stress and add additional comfort when working in the heat. For example, the 6717 Hard Hat Pad with Neck Shade helps protect the back of the neck from UV exposure while adding a little extra padding for comfort. If you’re looking for more advanced protection, the 6670CT Neck Shade has a built-in cooling towel. The towel is made of a PVA material that when contacted with water or sweat activates a super evaporative cooling process.

    Heat stress is no joke and prevention should be taken seriously. If you need more information on heat stress, how to prevent heat-related illnesses, or any of our cooling products, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to see our selection of neck shades

    Click here to see our selection of cooling gear

    Heat Stress 101: The Video


    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.


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  2. How to Work in the Heat

    It seems like just a few weeks ago we were complaining that winter just wouldn’t go away. Now, we are in the full swing of summer and beating the heat is at the top of our minds. This week our Gear Experts® have put together a guide about how to work in the heat and stay safe.

    Heat Illness


    Overexposure to heat can lead to a loss of productivity, a range of illnesses, and even death. The causes of heat illness include:

    → High temperatures & humidity, direct sun exposure, and/or no breeze or wind;

    → Low liquid intake;

    → Heavy physical labor;

    → Weatherproof or poorly breathing clothes; and

    → No recent exposure to hot workplaces

    Many of these conditions are easily remedied. You may not be able to avoid working in hot areas, but frequent water breaks can help a lot. Another thing that can help keep you cool is using cooling products. Cooling towels like the Chill-Its from Ergodyne can be very helpful. Heavy physical labor is probably unavoidable but taking frequent rest breaks to prevent exhaustion is key.

    Make sure your clothing is breathable. We’ve covered work wear over on our YouTube channel. Click here to check out that video or click here to see our full selection of cooling work wear. UV protective clothing is very breathable and actually protects your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.

    Heat Illness Symptoms


    Now that we know some of the things that can cause heat illness, let’s look at some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion

    → Headache, dizziness, and/or fainting;

    → Weakness and/or wet skin;

    → Irritability or confusion; and

    → Thirst, nausea, and vomiting

    Heat Stroke

    Heat stroke can have many of the same symptoms as heat exhaustion. There are some additional symptoms that come with heat stroke:

    → Being in a confused state – unable to think clearly;

    → Collapsing and/or passing out;

    → Seizures; and

    → Victim completely stops sweating

    Best Practices


    Knowing the signs of heat illnesses are a great starting point, but it is also important that we know what to do in the invent of a heat illness happening to someone on the jobsite. Some of the best practices for heat-related illnesses are:

    → Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness – monitor yourself and your crew;

    → Block out direct sunlight when possible – shelter tents and large brim hats help with this;

    → Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids. If you’re thirsty, you’re already behind;

    → Avoid caffeine and alcohol; and

    → Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.



    If you encounter someone that is sick due to heat immediately call your supervisor and/or 9-1-1. Be sure to stay with the victim until help arrives. While waiting for help there are some preventative measures you can take to help begin cooling the victim down.

    → Move the victim to a shaded area – the cab of a truck with the a/c on would be even better;

    → Remove any outer clothing;

    → Add ice bags or a cool wet cloth to their forehead, neck, and armpits to aid in cooling; and

    → If they can – give them some cool water to drink

    Heat illness is not something to be messed with, but with the proper precautions, it can be controlled. Check out our YouTube channel to see our full line of cooling and work wear videos.

    Need more information about cooling gear or how to work in the heat? Click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of cooling gear

    Click here to see our full selection of work wear

    Click here to see our full selection of Ergodyne gear

    How to Work in the Heat: The Video


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