Richmond, B.C. (June 18, 2018) – With high temperatures forecast across the province this week, WorkSafeBC is alerting employers and outdoor workers of the risk of developing symptoms of heat stress this summer. Left untreated, heat stress can lead to injuries from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
In 2017, there were 30 accepted claims for work-related injuries caused by heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The occupations with the highest number of heat stress-related claims last year included: landscape and horticulture workers, welders and metal fabricators, longshore, logging and forestry workers, and construction workers.
“People who work outdoors face many risks when the weather gets hot,” says Dan Strand, WorkSafeBC Prevention Field Services Director. “Employers are required to know if their workers are at risk, and need to perform a heat-stress assessment and implement a mitigation plan accordingly.”
Heat stress occurs when your internal temperature increases faster than the body can cool itself. 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.
Prevention of Heat Stress: Employers
Prevention of Heat Stress: Workers
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the provincial government. The organization serves approximately 2.4 million workers and 238,000 employers throughout British Columbia. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, the organization is accountable to the public through the provincial government.