Summer is here, and whether you are spending time outdoors for work or leisure, you should take precautions to stay healthy, safe and comfortable in the heat.
The following conditions may put you and your staff at risk:
- High temperature and humidity
- Direct sun or heat, with little air movement
- Level of physical activity/exertion.
Here’s what to do
To increase comfort and safety in the heat when working outdoors:
- monitor yourself and your staff
- wear clothing that is lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting
- take rest breaks and drink cool beverages
- focus on lighter activities whenever possible and leave physically demanding tasks for cooler periods
- work in the shade and away from other heat sources
- build up your tolerance to high temperatures.
More serious situations can lead to heat stress, a condition in which the body is unable to control its internal temperature. The following symptoms can result in:
- heat illness – headaches, dizziness, upset stomach and vomiting
- heat exhaustion – fatigue, weakness, moist skin, rapid and weak pulse
- heat stroke – hot dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, mental confusion, unconsciousness, seizures and convulsions.
What to do if someone is experiencing heat stress
- Move the person to a cool, shaded area.
- Loosen or remove heavy clothing.
- Provide cool drinking water.
- Call 911 (or local emergency provider) immediately if you think someone is experiencing heat stroke.
For more information about staying safe in the heat, check out SAFE Work Manitoba’s Heat Stress Tip Card.