No matter your industry, you have a right to a safe workplace. In fact, your employer must provide an environment free of health and safety hazards, including heat-related hazards. Working outdoors or within a building without air conditioning can result in stress and illness. If you have a labor-intensive job, heat can be particularly dangerous.
It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with reasonable safety precautions.
New worker training
New workers should always undergo training to keep them safe when working in the heat. Workers should know how to recognize the signs of heat illness, but also, they need to learn how to work in warm temperatures. New employees also need to have time to adjust to the work conditions. Both new and returning workers may need to increase their workload gradually. During the first work, they may require more breaks than other workers as their bodies acclimate to the heat.
In addition, new workers should learn how to react if someone has a heat-related emergency. Trainees may learn how to cool the worker with water or ice and to call for emergency help as soon as possible.
Employers should provide all workers with adequate shade and periods of rest. When working in warm conditions, you need to take regular breaks. Employers must provide you with water and the means to stay as cool as possible. They should be aware of heat-related conditions in advance to prepare for them. In situations where the heat could be dangerous or fatal to an employee, the employer must take precautions, even if it means shutting down the business for the day.
Heat-related illnesses can result in serious, life-altering injuries. An employer must take all reasonable steps to prevent them.