FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Although heat is one of the biggest threats to Initial Entry Training Soldiers, civilians should also take care when working during the hot summer months.

"The same general principles apply to civilians as to Soldiers," said Sean O'Brian, head of the Fort Jackson Safety Center.

Civilians who must work in the heat should "stay hydrated, stay out of the sun and seek shelter," O'Brian said.

Civilians who typically work in an air-conditioned environment should also take care when they are outdoors. Civilians may not be acclimated to being out in the heat like Soldiers who work outside daily.

Like Soldiers, O'Brian said civilians should watch their co-workers for any signs and symptoms of a heat injury, including a mental status change.

"If you're talking to me and 15 minutes from now ... I'm babbling, that's a mental status change," he said.

If that happens, contact emergency personnel immediately, he said. The worst thing to do, he added, is for civilians to be careful not to push themselves too far and to continue working if they feel ill.

Page last updated Thu June 25th, 2009 at 08:13