Working Outdoors: Do You Have Everything Under the Sun? Hazard Alert

Topic: Working Outdoors: Do You Have Everything Under the Sun?
Date Issued: July 27, 2010 Date Revised:

Hot sunny days can be dangerous for people working outdoors. Heat stress hazards together with the harmful effects of the sun can seriously endanger the health and safety of outdoor workers. Roofing work and lifting heavy loads are just a few tasks where precautions should be taken to prevent heat stress and sun overexposure.

Drink a lot of cool fluid all day – before you feel thirsty

Drink lots of water before beginning work and about one cup every 20 minutes while working. Liquids with sodium content are also a good choice.

Take it slowly

Work slowly and take short, frequent breaks. Gradually increase the frequency, intensity and duration of your tasks as you become acclimatised.

Limit your time in the sun

The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so plan heavy work before or after peak intensity hours. Seek shade whenever possible.

Use sunscreen

Wear a high SPF (15 or greater) sunscreen and lip balm, even on cloudy days, and reapply when necessary. Sunscreen should be used in addition to cover-up clothing, not in place of it.

It’s the law!

Section 22 and subsection 23(1) of General Regulation 91-191, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, set the required precautions to avoid heat stress:

  • Proper clothing
  • Frequent measurement of temperature – see paragraph 22(a)
  • The work/rest regimen for heat
  • Instructions on signs of heat stress

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