Heat Stress: A Seasonal Hazard
McGuinty Government Urges Workers To Protect Themselves From Heat Stress
Hot and humid summer days bring an added danger--heat stress. Ontario has tips and information to help employers and workers learn how to protect themselves from this seasonal hazard.
When heat is combined with other stresses like hard physical work, fluid loss, fatigue or some medical conditions, it can lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death.
Heat stress can affect anyone, including the young and fit, and can be a concern in many workplaces. Symptoms of heat stress can include: excessive sweating, headache, rashes, cramping, dizziness, and fainting.
- Workers most at risk for heat stress include those in hot environments, such as smelters, furnaces, bakeries and out of doors during the summer.
- Prolonged exposure to heat stress can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
- The victims of heat stroke are often unable to notice the symptoms, and their survival may depend on co-workers' ability to identify symptoms and to seek immediate medical assistance.
“As we approach the summer season, we can expect an increase in heat and humidity which puts both indoor and outdoor workers at risk. Employers and workers need to work together to be aware of the symptoms of heat stress and put the necessary safeguards in place to protect themselves against it.”
“Heat stress on the body is a very real health concern in some industries. Employers and employees need to be aware of the conditions that can lead to heat stress, how to recognize symptoms and what steps can be taken to avoid heat stress-related illnesses.”