Ask the HR Department: How can you keep your outdoor workers protected from the heat of summer?

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

As temperatures rise, it can quickly become dangerous for outdoor workers. It is important for employers to take all reasonable precautions to protect outdoor workers and keep them safe from all potential hazards. Below are some measures employers can take to keep outdoor workers protected in summer.

Provide appropriate PPE year-round. No matter what the season, workers should be equipped with the necessary PPE based on their specific job tasks and environmental conditions. This may include items such as safety gloves, protective footwear, and high-visibility clothing.

Offer sun protection. Outdoor workers should be encouraged to protect themselves from harmful UV radiation. This can be achieved by providing sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.

Implement heat stress prevention methods. During extremely hot and humid conditions, employers should implement measures to prevent heat-related illnesses. This can include providing shaded rest areas, encouraging frequent hydration, and scheduling work during cool times of the day.

Train workers on hazards and safety procedures. Ensure that workers receive proper training on identifying and mitigating hazards specific to their work environment.

Risk assessments. Regularly assess the work environment to identify potential hazards and risks. This allows for the implementation of appropriate control measures to minimize the likelihood of accidents or injuries.

Consider weather conditions. Stay informed about weather forecasts and make adjustments to work schedules if needed. Extreme weather conditions such as heat warnings, wildfire smoke exposure, or flooding pose additional risks to outdoor workers and may require temporary suspension of work.

Peninsula is a trusted HR and health & safety advisory company, serving over 6,000 small businesses across Canada. Clients are supported with ongoing updates of their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from access to our 24/7 employer HR and OHS advice line and coverage on legal through our Peninsula Protect service promise.