With the recent heat streak, it's important to know how to remain safe while working outside.
High temperatures are a potential workplace hazard. The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their workers.
“As the hottest days of summer approach, so do the dangers of working outside," explained Christina Gray, Minister of Labour. "Knowing how to work safely in hot weather can prevent heat-related injuries. Employers must take steps to protect the health of their workers and save lives.”
Employers and workers should be aware of the early signs of heat and stress and treat it right away. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, dehydration, muscle cramps and changes in breathing can progress to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical attention.
Some suggestions for employers to keep workers safe are providing plenty of cool water, reducing physical activity, changing the work location to a cooler shaded area if possible, enforcing a work/rest schedule with extra breaks if needed and scheduling the physically demanding jobs to cooler times of the day.
Also worth noting is that employees have the right to refuse work if they feel it is unsafe. Albertans can call Occupational Health and Safety at 1-866-415-8690 if they feel their workplace is unsafe due to the hot weather.