Special Update: Heat stress advisory

The Safety Branch of the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration has reissued their safety alert on heat stress ahead of this week’s forecast heatwave.

Employers must take steps to ensure that any outdoor workers are protected from heat stress injuries. Click here to view the Province of Nova Scotia’s heat stress guidelines.

Key pieces of information for worker health and safety have been included below. To read the full advisory, please click here.

What is heat stress?

Heat stress is the buildup of heat in the body to the point where the body’s thermostat has difficulty maintaining normal internal body temperature. It happens when high temperature combines with other factors such as:

  • High humidity;
  • Hard physical workload;
  • Clothing;
  • Dehydration;
  • Physical condition.
Heat stress symptoms
  • Heat rash: Itchy red skin;
  • Heat cramps: Painful muscle cramps;
  • Heat exhaustion: Faint; headache; confusion; nausea or vomiting;
  • Heat stroke: No sweating (hot, dry skin), high body temperature, confusion, or convulsions. Get immediate medical help.
Heat stress controls
  • Elimination of hot process;
  • Worker acclimatization;
  • Engineering controls (air conditioning, mechanical ventiliation, shaded work area, control the heat at source, etc.);
  • Administrative controls (reassign the work-rest regimen, cool drinking water, schedule jobs to cooler time of the day, etc.);
  • Protective clothing (water or ice-cooled insulated clothing, light summer clothing, light coloured clothing, head covering, etc.).

Questions? Contact Safety Branch, Labour, Skills & Immigration at 1-800-952-2687 or safetybranch@novascotia.ca.