Hospitality Focus on Safety: Preventing Heat Illness
Heat illness can be easily prevented by knowing the warning signs and following careful procedures while working in a hot environment. The consequences of heat illness can be a slower working pace, increased chance of causing an accident, stroke or even death.
- Working outside in
- Working in a kitchen
- Working in laundry
- Being in a hot
environment without drinking the appropriate amount of water
- Not being acclimated
to a hot environment
- To prevent heat
exhaustion, rest in a cool area and drink plenty of water.
- Workers should be
acclimated to heat through short exposures followed by longer periods of work
in a hot environment.
- Personal cooling
devices and protective clothing should be provided for employees working in a
- First aid workers
should be trained to recognize and treat heat illnesses.
- Having an alternating
work cycle allows employees to rest in cool areas.
The Warning Signs:
- Inability to focus,
concentrate or keep up.
- Heat rash in the areas
- Muscle Cramps
- Heat Exhaustion which
includes nausea, vomiting, headache, flushed skin, extreme fatigue, clammy
skin, and a slight temperature.
- Heat Stroke which
manifests as a fever over 104 degrees, delirium, convulsions or loss of
consciousness and can lead to brain damage and death.
In the event of heat illness:
- Get to a cool place, rest and drink plenty of water.
- If heat rashes manifest, get to a cool area and rest until you stop perspiring then bathe in cool water.
- If a person faints, (regains consciousness quickly) get them to a cool place, resting flat with their feet elevated.
- If a person presents with symptoms of heat stroke, get them to a cool place to lie down and call an ambulance immediately.
- Follow the guidelines for the incident found in the Emergency Binder.
- If you feel you may be feeling sick from heat exposure, report it immediately to your supervisor.
- Be very clear on whether you require immediate medical attention, imminent medical attention or request additional accommodations to prevent injury in the future.
- Report the incident to the Risk Management Team.
- Inform the staff of the incident and make corrections to procedures or errors to ensure that this incident does recur.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.