If you work in a hot environment, you are at risk of heat stress. If you happen to be overweight, take certain meds, or are older, your odds of suffering from heat stress are even greater.
When you add in other factors such as humidity, your activity level, other current health concerns, and how your body & brain reacts to heat, you can find yourself in real danger if you ignore how you feel. What may be a miserable summer day to you could be another person's beautiful day in the neighborhood, so it is important for you to have the accurate information to gauge your body's heat stress level. Knowing what triggers heat stress for you is a key point in preventing a hot injury.
The newest version of the free OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety App, available for iPhone and Android smartphones, provides the actual temperature where you are (using your location feature), the humidity index, and calculates the 'Feels Like' temperature charted on a simple graphic. Hitting the Precautions button just below the 'Feels Like' temp takes you to lists of precautions to take depending on the calculated risk level.
The Heat Safety App also projects conditions hourly and signals how elevated the heat stress risk will be at that time and gives recommendations for planning outdoor work activities in advance.
The app has an index of symptom descriptions to look for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, Rhabdomyolsis (a serious and nasty condition that breaks down muscles), heat cramps, and heat rash. Each condition has first aid procedures to follow to help prevent further injury while the affected person waits for medical help.
I downloaded this app to see for myself if it has any merit and I'm all for it. I happen to be a wimp and know what heat stress triggers set me off, and I found the symptom/first aid features on this app to be really good for distinguishing which type of heat stress I'm experiencing. It's a keeper.
Keep in mind this is not a weather app and won't tell you if rain is coming, but it does tell you how heat and humidity can add up to bring you down.
Of course, the Heat Safety App will not and should not replace professional medical advice but it certainly can help you track your triggers during the day.
Download the Heat Safety Tool here: