What Are the Signs of Heat Illness?

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke healthcare infographic: symptoms and first aid

Summer is sneaking up fast, and with the new season comes hot temperatures that can make outdoor work uncomfortable and even dangerous to your health. Working in high temperatures can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so it’s important to ensure you and everyone around you stays safe from the heat.

Here are a few signs of heat illness to be aware of while on the job site so you can better understand how to protect yourself and your crew.


It’s common to experience headaches, but it’s not advisable to ignore them and keep working, especially if you’ve been working under the sun for a while. A headache could be a sign of heat exhaustion. It’s best to take a short break and get some water in a shaded area.

High Heart Rate

Construction work involves a lot of heavy lifting and operating machinery, which can cause your heart rate to increase. It’s important to monitor your heart rate closely during the hot summer months, as extreme temperatures can make it rise to unsafe levels. If you experience an irregular heartbeat or feel your heart beating faster than usual, it’s crucial to seek shade or air conditioning to cool down as soon as possible.


It’s natural to feel weak and exhausted after a long day of work. However, take a break if you feel this way during the day. Weakness and cramps are signs of heat exhaustion, and ignoring these could lead to more serious issues with your health – not to mention accidents that could hurt you and others!

Red Skin

When spending time in the sun, monitoring your skin’s color, temperature, and dryness is important. If your skin becomes very red, hot, and dry, it’s recommended to move to a shaded area and hydrate. Although some skin redness is normal with sunburn, excessively red or dry skin could indicate heat stroke. It’s essential to remember to wear sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing when possible.


It’s important to be familiar with the controls when handling machinery and always feel confident about operating them. However, if you start feeling confused or dizzy, it may be a sign that you’re overheating. This could be an early indication of heat exhaustion, and it’s best to take a break in a shaded or air-conditioned area and drink some water to regulate your body temperature.

Understanding the signs and preventing heat illness on your job site as best as possible is crucial to keeping your workers safe this summer. It’s also important to keep your employee’s environment safe with adequate gear, well-maintained machinery, and helpful equipment like crane mats that offer your site extra safety to get your job done quickly and efficiently.

At Ritter Forest Products, we have the heavy-duty support products your job site needs to keep your workers and equipment safe. From hardwood crane matstransition mats, and outrigger pads to laminated matsdragline mats, and pipeline skids for sale or rent, we can provide the most durable products for your next job.

Contact us today to learn more about our high-quality products and browse our projects online!