WorkSafeBC suggests employers consider this option
WorkSafeBC is calling on British Columbia employers to consider closing shop if workers cannot be protected from the risk of heat stress. as the heat wave continues.
“All workers are potentially at risk. With the heat wave across B.C., we are warning employers and workers about the risk of developing heat stress. If not recognized and treated early, heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke," said Al Johnson, head of prevention services at WorkSafeBC.
“If an employer cannot be assured that workers will be protected against heat stress, they should seriously consider shutting down their workplace during this extreme heat."
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excess sweating, dizziness, fainting and muscle cramps. Symptoms of heat stroke include cessation of sweating, an increased breathing rate, confusion, seizures and even cardiac arrest.
To prevent heat-stress injuries, WorkSafeBC requires employers to conduct heat stress assessments. As appropriate, employers must have a heat stress mitigation plan that provides education and training in recognizing the symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke.
Spending for workers’ UV protection could mean millions of savings for employers, according to a previous report.
And some employers are doing just that.
“Due to the heatwave and the safety of our kitchen staff, we will be closed today. Thank you for your understanding and stay safe!” tweeted Teahouse Restaurant in Vancouver.
“All Burgoo Locations will be closed today as it is officially too hot to work. We will reopen tomorrow as the heat wave begins to subside, please stay safe and we hope to see you all soon,” wrote Vancouver’s Burgoo Bistro in a tweet.
“Town Hall will close today (Monday, June 28th) at 12pm, due to the extreme heat the Sunshine Coast is experiencing. Property tax payments may be made online, or submitted via the dropbox at our front door. For Town-related emergencies, please call 604.886.2274,” according to the Town of Gibsons official Twitter page.