By Bethani Newbold and Katrina Vasquez, USAG Daegu Student Summer HiresAugust 1, 2019
CAMP HENRY, Republic of Korea -- In the month of August the weather is very hot and humid around Area IV, but hydrating and taking preventative steps help to avoid heat injuries and stress.
"Here in Korea, we have to be careful when it is hot because we often have poor air quality and when you combine that with hot weather, this can be extremely dangerous," said Cameron Porter, the USAG Daegu public affairs officer.
Heat illness is hazardous, but it most certainly can be prevented. Exercising early in the morning when it is cooler and being cautious of what you intake helps avoid heat illness.
There is a high risk for heat stress and illness, but common signs are having a headache, dry mouth or nausea. Serious signs are vomiting, having a weak rapid pulse and convulsions.
"In these extreme cases, relocate the employee to a cooler location immediately," said Randall W. Ross, the USAG Daegu safety and occupational health officer.
While waiting for medical personnel to arrive to further evaluate the patient, it's okay to try and keep them cool and provide them cool sips of water.
In the mid-summer, sometimes there is a lack of air conditioning in the buildings. This can also increase the risk of heat illness, but actions from an employee or a supervisor can help reduce heat stress in a work environment.
Closing windows keeps the humidity levels down, closing shades helps reduce heat from the sun and increasing water intake helps reduce excessive heat, said Ross.
Maintaining a buddy system, staying hydrated, having time to eat and having appropriate rest cycles are also methods to prevent heat illness.
"People should also exercise early in the morning when it's a little cooler outside or exercise in a climate controlled facility like the gyms at Camps Walker, Henry or Carroll," Porter said.
"Heat injuries are 100 percent preventable by monitoring personnel for symptoms and taking immediate cooling and hydrating action at the first signs of injury," said Ross.
USAG Daegu uses an Army-wide system called the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, which is an instrument that monitors the temperature outside as well as the humidity of the air. The WBGT heat index is broken down into five heat categories, heat Category 5 being the most severe.
For WBGT levels at Camp Carroll or Busan, please contact the MSC-K Safety Office at DSN 763-2009 or commercial 0503-363-2009.
For WBGT levels in Daegu and for more information about safety precautions during hot weather, contact the USAG Daegu Safety Office at DSN 763-5990 or commercial 0503-363-5990.