(Black Press stock photo)

Editorial: Employers, workers need to guard against heat exhaustion

Hotter temperatures in summer months can lead to heat-related ailments

Workers and their bosses need to take a share of the responsibility in finding ways to get work done safely on some of the hottest days of the year.

WorkSafe B.C. is reminding people about dangers associated with working outside on summer days. When the temperature rises, workers can develop a number of ailments if appropriate measures aren’t taken, according to a press release from the organization.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, dizziness, fainting and muscle cramps and symptoms of heat stroke include ceasing of sweat, increased breathing rates, confusion, seizures and cardiac arrest.

WorkSafe B.C. says employers must conduct heat stress assessments and, when applicable, must implement a “heat-stress mitigation plan” that educates workers so they can recognize signs of heat stress and heat stroke.

WorkSafe B.C. suggests employers monitor conditions and require workers not to work alone. Other suggestions include ensuring adequate first aid coverage and emergency measures are in place, determining appropriate work and rest cycles and establishing cooling areas with water and shade.

WorkSafe recommends workers properly hydrate themselves, with a glass of water every 20 minutes. It also suggests taking breaks in areas that are cool and well-ventilated, and performing hard, physical labour during the relatively cooler times of the day.

Please visit www.worksafebc.com for more information.

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