The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a fact sheet on working in hot temperatures, whether indoors or out. There are no regulations concerning a maximum work temperature as it depends on many other factors, such as humidity, air movement, exposure to sun and demands of the job.
However, OHS recommends taking frequent breaks, using fans or air conditioning, wearing light, loose, flexible clothing, drinking cold beverages (without caffeine or alcohol in them), creating shade with screens or umbrellas and completing less taxing tasks during the peak temperature periods.
“We have guys and girls out there right now and it’s hot,” said Barrett Anderson, project manager with Plato’s Superior Roofing in Medicine Hat. “We have preventative measures they can take to get through it without any injury and/or illness. We have frequent breaks when we can, water is widely available, cold drinks in the cooler and breaks as needed.”
The clothing a person wears is important, stressed Anderson. He acknowledged that working outside isn’t for everyone, but he has a great team right now who are working really hard to get through this part of the year, which he resignedly admitted seems to be an annual thing.
“It is tough on everybody,” said Anderson. “It comes with the terrain, unfortunately. There are lots of other trades outside in the heat, such as pavers, framers, and many others. It’s challenging and we have lots of toolbox meetings about it. We discuss it and when a problem arises, we try to take corrective action as fast as we can and adapt for the next time around.”
SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News