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Ensure to keep hydrated to avoid illnesses such as heat stress or dehydration.

Some companies offer cooling vests to employees. Ask your employer if they have cooling vests for you to use.

Always have an epi-pen readily available if you have an allergy that requires one.

Health & Safety Bulletin

Summertime Work Safety

Most of the health and safety concerns that arise during the summer months can lead to serious consequences but if properly handled can be very preventable! The main issues that affect workers during the summer include sun safety, heat and sweat, and stings. In order to keep your work environment the safest it can be while still enjoying the summer months please check out the following sections that share some ideas of how to protect yourself and stay injury free!

Wear Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to protect from burns when working outdoors.

Take Heat Breaks to rest and rehydrate.

Sun Safety:


Sunburns are never fun, especially when you work in the sun all day! Aside from the stinging and burning skin there are many health consequences related to sun exposure. As stated in the Health and Safety Report done by the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Exposure to UV (Ultraviolet) radiation from the sun can cause skin damage, sunburn, eye damage, premature skin aging, and skin cancer.

There are many precautions that can be taken if sun safety is something that applies to your work environment:

  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially to the intense midday rays between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If this is unavoidable;
  • Seek shaded areas for where possible. When this is not feasible set up shade structures or use umbrellas, buildings, trees, canopies, etc., to shield against the direct rays from the sun.
  • Cover and protect your skin by wearing a broad brimmed hat, lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants
  • Wear UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Apply waterproof sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30, and UVA and UVB protection, to all exposed parts of your body. Re-apply every two hours and after sweating.
  • Be aware that you can get sunburn on a cloudy day.
(The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011)

Extreme Heat and Sweating


For those hot work environments or for those who work outdoors in the summer, there is an increased risk for heat-related conditions that can be potentially quite serious. Heat Stress is caused by a buildup of body heat that can quickly develop into heat exhaustion or heat stroke (possibility of fatalities) if the proper precautions are not made. These conditions occur as the body’s internal temperature increases leading to an increase in heart rate causing the body to become overwhelmed.


As an Employer – try some of these ways to ensure the safety of your employees:

  • Evaluate and, if necessary, implement a heat stress control program.
  • When managing work activities take into consideration the employee's physical condition and the temperature and match accordingly.
  • Train workers on the serious health risks of heat illness, how to avoid it, how to recognize the symptoms, and what to do if it happens.
  • Keep workers cool and the work area cool or provide an air conditioned rest area.
  • If possible, schedule heavy tasks, and work that requires personal protective equipment (PPE), for cooler times such as early mornings or evenings to reduce risk.
  • Provide plenty of water for those who are working in the heat and encourage them to take frequent rest breaks and drink even if they don't feel thirsty.

(The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011)


As a Worker – take precautions like these to keep safe while working:

  • Take time to acclimatize by adapting your work and pace to the temperature and to how you feel.
  • Take breaks to cool off. Go into the shade, an air-conditioned building or vehicle to help prevent your body from overheating. (If you don't have a place to cool off then compensate by reducing your physical efforts.)
  • Try to stay out of the sun as much as possible
  • Save physically demanding tasks for the early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun is less intense.
  • If you are on medication, investigate to discover whether they can cause reactions from sun exposure and heat.
  • ***Recognize the symptoms of heat stress in yourself and your co-workers.
      • Symptoms include: rash, cramping, fainting, excessive sweating, headache, and dizziness.
      • You may not see or feel the effect in you therefore using a buddy system to monitor each other is recommended.g
  • ***Stay hydrated. As a general guideline, drink one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
(The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011)



Stings from insects can cause pain, itching, and inflammation in some people and endanger the lives of others. Those who have allergic reactions to stings most often lead to anaphylactic shock which is very serious and can result in death if not treated.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction tend to appear within 30 minutes after a sting. They include hives, itching and swelling in areas other than the sting site; swollen eyes and eyelids; wheezing; tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing; hoarse voice or swelling of the tongue; dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure; shock; and unconsciousness or cardiac arrest.

Take these steps to avoid being stung by bees, wasps, and other buzzing bugs, if you work outdoors:

  • Stay away from areas where insects are gathered (i.e. garbage bins)
  • Don't provoke or swat at insects, or make sudden movements.
  • Using power tools such as lawnmowers, weed eaters, and chainsaws can stir up insects.
  • Tell your employers about your allergies to insect stings, especially if you work outdoors.
  • Workers should be trained in emergency first aid, be aware of the signs of a severe reaction, and know how to use the bee sting kit (self-injectable epinephrine).
  • Always carry your self-injectable epinephrine and a cell phone with you in case you need emergency medical assistance.
  • Avoid wearing scented, perfumed products.
  • If you must be near bees or wasps, wear a hat with netting to cover your head, neck and shoulders, and tape your pant legs to your boots and socks, and your sleeves to your gloves.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet if you are allergic to stings.
(The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011)