The Workers Compensation Board and the P.E.I. division of the Canadian Cancer Society are reminding Islanders to take precautions to avoid heat stress at work.
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 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.
For those working outside on these hot days there are some steps to take to help reduce heat stress: drink plenty of water; limit sun exposure, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are at the strongest; cover exposed skin with loose-fitting, tightly-woven clothing; wear a wide-brimmed hat; have adequate ventilation in the workplace; take breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned space, if possible, and keep everyone safe by providing adequate supervision using a buddy system to watch for signs of heat stress in co-workers. Early detection is critical.
Those who experience the initial heat stress need to remove themselves from the environment, drink water, monitor the symptoms and advise someone in case they need further assistance or medical treatment.
More information is available in Guide to the Prevention of Heat Stress at Work at www.wcb.pe.ca or call 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049.
For additional information on being safe in the sun, call the cancer society at 1-888-939-3333 or visit www.cancer.ca.