Both can be extremely harmful, but what’s the difference?

This blog addresses the different signs and conditions associated with heat stress and heat exhaustion and how it can be managed effectively in the workplace.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:

  • Faint or dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps

Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  • Throbbing headache
  • No sweating
  • Body temperature above 40.5oc and red, hot, dry skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • May lose consciousness

The main differences to note is that someone could be seriously ill suffering from heat stroke, but not actually be sweating. It’s therefore often difficult to identify the problem. In this case important physiological factors will show if they are suffering from heat stroke, their temperature will have increased to more than 40.5oc and their pulse rate will be strong and rapid.

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

To treat heat exhaustion, you need to move the person to a cooler location and get them to drink water. If possible, make them take a cool shower or use a cold compress.*

Treating heat stress needs to be done as a matter of urgency, it’s therefore recommended that professional medical treatment is provided as soon as possible. Call emergency services and keep the affected person cool until treated.

How can you Help to Avoid Heat Stress Illness in the Workplace?

A Heat Management plan is a good way to address and check whether you have the correct measures in place to help prevent heat related illnesses occurring in your workforce.

Your plan should include some of the following key points:

  • Risk profiling and establishing triggers before the warmer months start
  • Implement some control measures and proactive actions from your findings
  • Daily monitoring of hazards and the triggers identified to ensure action can be taken in real-time making the most impact.
  • Ensure an early warning system is set up so managers are alerted to the issues immediately.
  • Collect data to inform and review, after the summer months, in order to constantly update and refine triggers and hazard exposure levels.


For more information about hazard monitoring solutions for Heat Stress management, please view our Heat Stress Guide.

If you’d like to talk to us about our latest physiological monitors, including our newest technology the Kenzen heat patch, please get in touch.


*Always seek medical attention and professional advice if symptoms persist

For more information on how to conduct a heat management plan please visit