Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (July 2021)
With extreme temperatures in many parts of British Columbia, WorkSafeBC issued an advisory on June 28, 2021, advising employers to consider closing down their workplaces if workers cannot be protected from the risk of heat stress.
“All workers are potentially at risk,” said Al Johnson, head of prevention services at WorkSafeBC. “With the heat wave across B.C., we are warning employers and workers about the risk of developing heat stress. If not recognized and treated early, heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excess sweating, dizziness, fainting and muscle cramps. Symptoms of heat stroke include cessation of sweating, an increased breathing rate, confusion, seizures and even cardia arrest.
To prevent heat stress injuries, WorkSafeBC requires employers to conduct heat stress assessments. As appropriate, employers must have a heat stress mitigation plan that provides education and training in recognizing the symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke.
“If an employer cannot be assured that workers will be protected against heat stress, they should seriously consider shutting down their workplace during this extreme heat,” said Johnson.
In the last three years, there have been almost 100 accepted cases for work-related injuries caused by heat stress – and these are preventable injuries.
Learn more about heat stress at www.worksafebc.com.
Heat stress has been around for a while now. Many of the other provinces have had earlier articles concerning heat stress but British Columbia has not really been affected because of their more moderate climate. Climate change has now motivated them.
Please review the following posts for earlier examples of heat stress suggestions; 19, 92, 337, 1084 and 1401 for further details.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including Heat Stress. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.