Just because it is summer doesn’t mean you can stop everything and sit by the lake all day, unfortunately.
When the temperatures rise and the days become very hot the last thing most want to do is work, especially those who work outside. However, bills must be paid and food must be eaten.
Minister of Labour Christina Gray is asking people to ensure safe practises while working in the extreme summer heat.
“Knowing how to work safely in hot weather can prevent heat-related injuries,” said Gray in a recent press release.
According to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), working outdoors during a heat wave can have health risks if proper precautions are not taken.
It can take four to seven days for the human body to acclimate to working in hot temperatures.
It is recommended to slowly increase the time spent working outdoors over this time period to make sure work can be done safely.
“As the hottest days of summer approach, so do the dangers of working outside,” said Gray.
During a heat wave, the Ministry of Labour and OHS recommends completing a hazard assessment to “identify work situation where heat is a hazard.”
Workers should also wear appropriate clothing for the heat, including personal protective equipment designed to reduce heat stress.
Use a work-rest schedule with extra breaks if needed as well as establishing a cooling station.
Worker should also drink lots of water during a heat wave. It is recommended to drink one cup of water every 15 minutes during a heat wave.
If possible, it is also recommended to change location or timing of work to where and when it is cooler.
It is also important to know the early signs of heat stress which include: headache, confusion ,dizziness and fatigue, dehydration, heavy sweating, muscle cramps and changes to breathing and pulse rate.
These symptoms can lead to heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention as it can be life-threatening.
“Employers must take steps to protect the health of their workers and save lives,” said Gray.