July 17, 2023 By Rock to Road Staff
RICHMOND, B.C. – Just in time for the peak of summer construction season, WorkSafeBC has released a collection of resources for construction and related industries on managing and avoiding heat stress at work.
Heat stress occurs when a high-temperature environment increases one’s body heat faster than it can cool itself through sweat or other natural mechanisms, which can lead to symptoms such as heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion.
Across British Columbia, a total of 115 heat stress claims were made in 2021, with WorkSafeBC noting 81 last year. Outside work environments, including construction, farming, and roofing, present the most risks for heat stress, said WorkSafeBC.
Methods that employers can introduce for managing heat stress include establishing a cooling area, rotating work activities, ensuring easy access to water, and determining a rest cycle for workers. WorkSafeBC recommends whatever plan employers establish be communicated clearly to workers.
WorkSafeBC have released the Preventing Heat Stress at Work booklet to help educate workplaces on these matters. The document joins Sun Safety At Work, a resource previously published in 2016 by the organization in editions aimed separately at both workers and employers. This information can be accessed on the WorkSafeBC website.
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