With high temperatures continuing through the week for much of Vancouver Island, WorkSafeBC is alerting employers and workers of an increased risk of developing symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke.
Last year, 24 workers in B.C. lost days at work because of heat stress related injuries, four of which were on Vancouver Island.
Heat stress occurs when your internal temperature increases faster than the body can cool itself. Symptoms include excess sweating, dizziness and nausea. If not addressed quickly, additional symptoms such as heat cramps, or potentially lethal heat stroke can rapidly develop.
Prevention of Heat Stress:
- Drink plenty of water (one glass every 20 minutes)
- Wear light-coloured, loose fitting clothing made of breathable fabric
- Take rest breaks in a cool well ventilated area
- Do the hardest physical work during the coolest parts of the day
- Know your personal risk factors: medications, skin disorders, sleep deprivation, poor physical fitness, pre-existing medical conditions
- Know the signs and symptoms