Richmond, B.C. (August 6, 2019) – WorkSafeBC is reminding employers and outdoor workers about the risk of developing heat stress during hot weather. If not recognized and treated early, heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“Outdoor work increases in the summer months, and both employers and workers need to be aware of the dangers of sun exposure and heat stress,” said Barry Nakahara, Senior Manager of Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC. “Last year in B.C., there were 38 accepted claims for work-related injuries caused by heat stress — and these are preventable injuries.”
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excess sweating, dizziness, fainting and muscle cramps. Symptoms of heat stroke include cessation of sweating, an increased breathing rate, confusion, seizures and even cardiac arrest.
To prevent heat-stress injuries, WorkSafeBC requires employers to conduct heat stress assessments. As appropriate, employers must have a heat-stress mitigation plan that provides education and training in recognizing the symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke.
Below are some measures that employers and workers can take to prevent heat stress.
Prevention of Heat Stress: Employers
Prevention of Heat Stress: Workers
WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.4 million workers and 245,000 employers across B.C.