Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Prevent Heat Stress at Work

July 06, 2018

With the first heat wave of the summer, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and the Canadian Cancer Society, PEI division remind all Islanders to take precautions to avoid heat stress at work.


Heat stress refers to a variety of heat-related disorders, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can lead to serious or even fatal injury. Symptoms may include weakness, muscle pain, light-headedness, nausea and high body temperatures.


Environmental hazards such as exposure to heat, high humidity and limited air flow can cause heat stress. Contributing factors may also include the worker’s hydration level, clothing, and physical exertion.


“If you are working outside this summer, it is important to be aware of the hazards so that you can take steps to control the risks and to recognize the signs of heat stress,” said Danny Miller, Director of Occupational Health and Safety.”


The following preventive steps to help reduce the risk of heat stress:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit sun exposure (11am-4pm highest UV rays) and wear sunscreen.
  • Cover exposed skin with loose fitting, tightly woven clothing and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Have adequate ventilation in the workplace.
  • Take breaks in the shade or an air conditioned space, if possible.
  • Keep everyone safe by providing adequate supervision and using a buddy system to watch for signs of heat stress in co-workers. Early detection is critical.

 If you experience the initial signs of heat stress, remove yourself from the environment, drink water, monitor the symptoms and advise someone in case you need further assistance or medical treatment.


“Millions of Canadians are exposed to sun on the job. Outdoor workers are a greater risk of developing skin cancer than indoor workers,” said Jayna Stokes, Provincial Lead of the Canadian Cancer Society PEI. “To protect yourself, wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, sun protective clothing, a larger brimmed hat, and a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.”


More information is available in Guide to the Prevention of Heat Stress at Work at  To learn more visit the WCB website or call 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049. For additional information on being safe in the sun call the Canadian Cancer Society at 1-888-939-3333 or visit  

Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or