Heat stress is one of the biggest health risks associated with heat waves. Hot weather places extra strain on your body as it tries to cool itself to its preferred temperature of 37C. Farmers working outside, or in farm buildings or sheds which have poor cooling methods, are at particular risk. There are three stages of heat stress: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat stroke occurs when you become dehydrated and your body temperature rises above 40.5C. This is a medical emergency and can lead to death. If you work in a hot environment, or are fighting fires you should drink plenty of water, try to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and develop a heat stroke prevention plan.
References used for this topic page
Extreme heat and heatwaves
Primary clinical care manual [Heat exhaustion – page 172]
Last updated: 21st November, 2016