June 15, 2009
Employers and workers are reminded to be aware of the health and safety dangers of heat stress and to protect themselves.

All those in the landscape industry need to be aware of the symptoms of heat stress in order to know how to work smart and stay cool.

When heat is combined with other stresses, like hard physical work, fluid loss, fatigue or some medical conditions, it can lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death. Heat stress can affect anyone, including the young and fit.
Symptoms of heat stress include rashes, sunburn, cramping, fainting, excessive sweating, headache and dizziness. If working in a hot environment, drink lots of fluids. Try to drink a cup of water about every 20 minutes, and when possible, try to:
  • Increase the number of breaks and take breaks in cool or shaded areas
  • Schedule heavy work for cooler periods
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Wear light-coloured and/or light-weight clothing
  • Reduce the physical demands of work by using aides.
  • Reduce the pace of work

Employers have a responsibility to take every precaution reasonable to ensure a worker is protected from heat stress. This includes developing hot environment policies and procedures. For more information, please see the Ministry of Labour’s Heat Stress Guideline at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/guidelines/gl_heat.html.