For outdoor workers, the sun is the biggest cause of heat stress.1 Heat stress happens when your body loses its ability to self-regulate body temperature.2
The humidex combines temperature and humidity to provide a measurement of how hot it ‘feels’ outside. Measuring the humidex is one way that workplaces can assess worker risk for heat stress each day.
How dangerous is heat from the sun for outdoor workers?
There are a several health issues caused by heat stress, including heat rash, fainting and heat exhaustion. The most serious disorder is heat stroke, which can cause irreversible damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
In the summer, outdoor workers have a higher risk of heat stress because of their exposure to the sun. If you work with equipment that also gives off heat, your risk is even higher.
How can workplaces and workers be more sun safe from heat?
Workers and workplaces both have a role in workplace sun safety. Workplaces can be more sun safe by implementing a sun safety program.
Workers can the follow six simple steps below to protect themselves from heat from the sun.
- 1. Ontario Ministry of Labour. (2014, June). Heat stress. Retrieved from http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/gl_heat.php
- 2. WorkSafeBC. (2007). Preventing Heat Stress at Work. Retrieved from: http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety/by_topic/assets/pdf/heat_stress.pdf