The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, and the National Weather Service have declared June 5, 2014 as Heat Awareness Day in Iowa.
To figure out the HI, reference the Heat Index Chart and find the intersection of the air temperature and relative humidity.
Measures for prevention of heat stress such as rest stations at outdoor working areas (left) and ventilators at confined working areas (right). The MTR Corporation is embarking on a campaign to on enhance the culture of safe work sites.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States and Wisconsin far exceeding tornadoes, severe storms and floods combined. Information packages, posters, banners and pocket cards have been prepared to raise workers' personal awareness of the risk of heat stress. The combination of extreme heat and humidity conspire to tax the human body beyond its natural cooling abilities. The body dissipates almost 90% of its heat through sweat but sweating by itself does nothing to cool the body unless the water is removed by evaporation, and high relative humidity hinders evaporation.
The Corporation and our contractors are committed to finding new and innovative ways to further enhance the safe and healthy practice of the construction industry," said TC Chew, Projects Director of the MTR Corporation. When heat gain exceeds the level the body can remove, or when the body cannot compensate for fluids and salt lost through perspiration, the temperature of the body’s inner core begins to rise and heat-related illness may develop. The table explains the risk to the body from continued exposure to excessive heat and is color coded to match the HI chart shown. Everyone should follow these basic heat safety tips in order to avoid the dangers of heat exposure. Keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until the late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight. Use small appliances like slow cookers and tabletop grills rather than your traditional oven or stove to keep kitchen heat to a minimum. If there is a heat hotline in your area, make sure that your elderly loved ones have the number and know when to call. Help your elderly pal to get to know his or her neighbors because isolated older adults are at a much higher risk of heat-related health problems and death.

For additional heat safety tips for elderly persons, see the Centers for Disease Control's Media Toolkit: Heat and the Elderly page. It's impossible to overstate the importance of continuing to educate yourself about ways to stay safe - and to keep your loved ones safe - during the hottest months of the year. The safety of our customers, the public, contractors and employees is an absolute prerequisite. In 1995, two major killer heat waves affected most of Wisconsin, resulting in 154 heat-related deaths and over 300 heat-related illnesses. That’s why Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are reminding people of the dangers associated with extreme heat and to promote safety measures.
Heat disorders are generally a result of the body’s inability to shed excess heat by sweating or a chemical (salt) imbalance caused by too much sweating.
Also an 82 year old woman in Prairie du Chien, a 80 year old man in Marquette County and an 87 year old Reedsburg woman lost their lives in the heat.
At extreme high temperatures, a fan loses its ability to effectively reduce heat-related illness.
According to Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Health and Public Safety, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control, heat exposure resulted in more than 8,000 deaths inside the United States between 1979 and 2003. According to the Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stress page provided by the Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service, when temperatures climb above 90 degrees, it's important to drink at least a gallon of liquid per day, preferably water.
If you see any of the above exposure signs, get the person out of the heat immediately and take them to the nearest hospital or call 911. Following the heat safety tips presented here is a good start, but there is more to be learned about this important topic.
The Guidelines came into effect on the 16 July 2012 and are aimed at preventing heat stress for outdoor workers. In the summer of 2011, Wisconsin lost five people to heat-related illnesses during the July 18-22 heat wave.
Summer heat waves have been the biggest weather-related killers in Wisconsin for the past 50 years, far exceeding tornadoes and severe storms. Take extra care to stay cool, and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.

With such a startling statistic, it's easy to see why it's so important to be aware of the risks associated with heat and to know how to stay safe in summer weather.
To learn even more about staying safe during hot conditions, see Heat: A Major Killer from the National Weather Service's Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services. The MTR Corporation and the contractors, have put a great deal of effort into enhancing awareness among workers at risk of heat stress by providing training, including site induction courses, tool box talks and briefings. In 2012, Wisconsin had confirmed 27 heat related deaths, most occurred during five days of Excessive Heat Warnings from July 2-6. It's also advisable to ask your doctor for recommendations specific to your health circumstances and geographic region, as well as participating in any local heat safety workshops that may be offered in your area. These two weather parameters combine to create the Heat Index (Apparent Temperature), which is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is combine with the actual air temperature. According to the center of disease control people who are sick and overweight older adults are at greater risk for heat related illnesses. The shaded zones on the chart correspond to the probabilities of developing heat-related disorders.
The MTR Corporation is committed to consistently meeting statutory requirements, maintaining a safety-first culture and implementing management systems crucial to the achievement of our safety goals.
The MTR Corporation continues its quest to improve working conditions and has issued Heat Stress Prevention Guidelines for contractors of our new railway projects to further enhance workers' safety and health.
Contractors are required to conduct Heat Stress Risk Assessments on site conditions and work procedures; and provide rest shelters with drinking water, as well as seats and fans throughout the site. Other than displaying banners and posters, pocket cards on heat stress prevention are also provided. By issuing these Heat Stress Prevention Guidelines, we aim to further improve the safety culture of our workers and further improve the working environment.

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