City workers are hitting the streets a little earlier in attempts to beat the heat.
In response to the heat warning issued by Environment Canada for the North Okanagan, Vernon operations teams will be making temporary adjustments to some of the outside work hours required to maintain services and protect employee health.
Residents and visitors may hear work activity taking place prior to the usual 7 a.m. start, starting Monday, June 28. Grass cutting in local parks, road repairs and utility works will be adjusted temporarily.
The City offered thanks to the public for their patience and understanding during this temporary operational change.
With the heat wave across B.C. expected to last for the next several days, WorkSafeBC is reminding all outdoor workers about the risk of developing heat stress, which if not recognized and treated early can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
“In the last three years, there have been almost 100 accepted claims for work-related injuries caused by heat stress. These are preventable injuries,” said prevention field services manager Barry Nakahara.
“We’re reminding workers to reduce exposure to the sun wherever possible, drinking lots of water, wearing the right clothes and taking rest breaks in cool, well-ventilated areas.”
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excess sweating, dizziness and muscle cramps while heatstroke symptoms include the cessation of sweating, an increased breathing rate, confusion and cardiac arrest.
WorkSafeBC requires employers to conduct heat stress assessments and have a mitigation plan in place providing workplace training on recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke.
Below are additional workers can take to prevent heat-injury:
– Drink plenty of water (one glass every 20 minutes).
– Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric, such as cotton.
– Do hard physical work during the coolest parts of the day, before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m.
– Know your personal risk factors, such as medications and any pre-existing conditions.
– Check the signs and symptoms for yourself and co-workers.
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