In some ways it seems surprising - heat stress normally shows early signs and after the last few decades the army would have generally been thought to be well aware of the risks.
Working in hot climates - normally outside the UK - does bring risks especially when combined with with physical exertion.
But anyone working outdoors especially in physical work should ensure they keep hydrated (at least 4 litres of water per day in this heat), try to reduce the caffeine intake and take the obvious precautions against sun burn. Most importantly listen to your body and keep an eye on those around you.
The NHS link below gives a good overview of the symptoms but keeping it simple:
- Thirst and dark urine - initial signs of dehydration - drink water and some dilute fruit juice.
- Dizziness - this is the first sign of heat exhaustion but also an indication that dehydration is getting more serious - find shade, use ice packs, cold water to get body temperature down and drink water.
- Increased heart rate - always a worrying sign. Rest, find shade and drink.
- Muscle Fatigue
Once you get beyond those symptoms the risks and effects start to jump quite quickly - confusion, increasingly poor co-ordination are the first signs obvious to others around you.
For anyone working outdoors whether in this heatwave or elsewhere in the world - drink water, keep your body salts topped up using fruit juice or energy drinks, find shade when you can and hats can help shade your scalp during peak temperatures - but most importantly listen to your body - the signs of both dehydration and heat stress can be felt at an early stage.