Heat Illness

Posted by Customer Care on

If your co-worker collapsed in the heat, would you know what to do?

Excessive heat can lead to two types of illness that can cause a person to collapse. Both should be treated as an emergency.

  1. Heat exhaustion is caused by dehydration, or insufficient fluids during strenuous physical work in the heat or humidity. Symptoms include heavy sweating, lower-leg muscle cramps, thirst, fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pale clammy skin, rapid weak pulse and rapid breathing.  

If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion:

  • lay them down in a cool area out of the heat
  • loosen tight clothing around their neck and waist
  • raise their legs slightly
  • if alert and conscious, give frequent sips of cool water, ice chips or a sports drink
  • if semi-conscious or unconscious, place in recovery position, check their airways and breathing and prepare for CPR
  • if no immediate improvement call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance.
  1. Heat stroke is a potentially fatal heat illness caused by a rapid rise in body temperature when the body is unable to self-regulate or cool down during strenuous exercise or extended periods in the heat. It may result from untreated heat exhaustion, or occur without previous heat illness. Symptoms include flushed and dry skin, temperature in excess of 40℃, rapid pulse that gradually weakens, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, irritability, extreme thirst, convulsions, seizures and unconsciousness.
  2.  

If you suspect someone has heat stroke:


  • immediately call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance
  • lay them down in a cool area out of the heat
  • bring down their temperature by removing clothes and applying ice packs or wet towels to armpits and groin, or even spray them with a hose
  • cover the person with a wet sheet
  • if semi-conscious or unconscious place in recovery position, check their airways and breathing and prepare for CPR 
  • keep checking vital signs at regular intervals until the ambulance arrives. 

Find out more about Heat Illness resources and aids here