Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Prevent heat stress at work

July 05, 2019

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) reminds all Islanders to take precautions to avoid heat stress and harmful sun exposure at work when the temperatures start to rise.

 

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.

 

“While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all workers and workplaces, being aware of the risks of heat-related illness is an important first step,” said Danny Miller, Director of Occupational Health and Safety. “Employers need to recognize the risks and take reasonable steps to reduce them. Workers must be made aware of the risks and be encouraged to speak up when there is a heat or sun-related concern.”

 

The following preventive steps to help reduce the risk of heat stress and harmful sun exposure:

  • 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.

 

More information is available in the Guide to the Prevention of Heat Stress at Work on the WCB website.

 

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Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or lsteeves@wcb.pe.ca