Take safety precautions while working in summer heat

Take safety precautions while working in summer heat

​​For immediate release: June 16, 2020

Winnipeg – Extreme summer temperatures can cause reactions ranging from discomfort to serious illness in most people. For workers who are exposed to the heat over the course of a work day, taking safety precautions is an important part of staying healthy and comfortable.

High daytime temperatures can make it challenging to work outdoors or in buildings without air conditioning. Here are some ways to increase comfort during periods of peak temperature:

  • Wear clothing that is lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting.
  • Use fans indoors.
  • Take rest breaks and drink cool beverages.
  • Focus on lighter activities whenever possible and leave physically demanding tasks for cooler periods.
More serious situations can lead to heat stress, a condition in which the body is unable to control its internal temperature. The following symptoms can result:
  • Heat illness – headaches, dizziness, upset stomach and vomiting
  • Heat exhaustion – fatigue, weakness, moist skin, rapid and weak pulse
  • Heat stroke – hot dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, mental confusion, unconsciousness, seizures and convulsions
Take these steps to prevent heat stress: 
  • Monitor yourself and your co-workers.
  • Take breaks and remember to drink when you're thirsty.
  • Work in the shade, away from heat sources.
  • Build up tolerance to high temperatures.
Follow these measures to treat someone who is experiencing heat stress:
  • Move the person to a cool, shaded area.
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing.
  • Provide cool drinking water.
  • Call 911 immediately.
Where working in hot weather is a concern, employers should work with their safety and health committees, worker representatives or workers to create a hot weather plan and determine work procedures for periods of elevated temperature.

For more detailed information, please refer to the Guideline for Thermal Stress and Outdoor Heat Stress Tip Card​

Click here for additional information about the health effects of heat from Manitoba Health. 

About SAFE Work Manitoba 

SAFE Work Manitoba - a division of the WCB, is dedicated to the prevention of workplace injury and illness. Working with our partners in the safety community, we provide prevention education, safety programming, consulting and strategic direction to create a genuine culture of safety for all Manitobans. 
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For Media Enquiries: 
Tracey Shelton
Director, Communications & Public Relations
WCB Manitoba and SAFE Work Manitoba
(204) 451-6218
tshelton@wcb.mb.ca
www.wcb.mb.ca 
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