Heat Exhaustion or Heatstroke? What You Need to Know

Now that the summer season is here, let’s keep in mind some safety precautions such as drinking enough water and wearing light clothing. When you are working in Middle East countries, like in Qatar, it would be best to be prepared.

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By doing so, you protect your body from extreme temperature and avoid experiencing heat exhaustion. Or is it heatstroke?

Knowing how to tell these two apart is important so that you can get the appropriate treatment whether at home or in the workplace. When you have the proper information, you can help someone should the need arises.


Look Out for These Signs

If you are tired from the cold, you might be looking forward to summer. It’s the perfect time to go to the beach or pool. Be warned though, that too much heat exposure can be dangerous for you. How can you counter the danger? Remember to apply sunscreen on your skin. Go to places with good ventilation. Or try to stay in the shade as much as possible.

However, expect your body to react after experiencing being out in the sun for too long. You might experience heat exhaustion which can lead to heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion comes about when you expose your body to overheating. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to other usual symptoms. According to experts, it’s a good idea to find a cooler place to pass the time when the hotness becomes unbearable. You might be suffering from heat exhaustion if you begin to feel dizzy, confused, nauseated, fatigue or headache. Some people also faint or develop rapid heartbeat. Should you start to exhibit any of these symptoms, it’s best to get help immediately so your condition will not lead to heatstroke.

Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). This is a serious condition and could result in fatal consequences if there is no immediate medical assistance.

No matter the health condition, there are some people who are prime candidates for heat exhaustion. Depending on their condition and circumstances, the elderly and young ones may feel the heat’s effect quickly. Those who have existing medical conditions should also be cautious as well.

By observing protocols during summer, you can avoid any heat-related issues. Working during these times should not be a problem as well.

New Legislation for the Workplace

Employees will now receive more protection against heat exposure at their work site. The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) announced Minister Decision No. 17, which states the steps to safeguard workers against heat stress during the summer season.

In this decision, as explained in Hukoomi.gov.qa, work performed in open areas should have a fixed schedule. For workers without access to shade when they perform their tasks, they should not work between 10 AM to 3:30 PM. This window period applies from June 1 to September 15 each year.

The employers should post the schedule in a visible area for everyone. Representatives from MADLSA will also refer to this timetable during their site visit.

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