The hot weather is here, and with the new PPE requirements in Toyota many people have been feeling the stress of working with extreme heat and humidity. Unifor has been working hard for our members to ensure they understand how to protect themselves at work.
WHAT IS HEAT STRESS?
Heat stress is an environmental and occupational hazard, resulting from physical activity in hot or humid environments capturing a spectrum of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, which canlead to death. Just like you can’t let a car engine overheat or it shuts down, you don’t want your body to get too hot. Working in the heat puts stress on our body’s cooling system. High temperatures and high humidity, stress the body’s ability to cool itself and heat illness
can become a deadly concern.
What are the employers responsibilities-
The old proverb that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really applies to heat stress and worker protection. Employers have a legal duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes developing policies and procedures to protect workers in hot environments due to hot processes or hot weather (or both). Employers must provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented. For compliance purposes, the respective Ministry of Labour will enforce this legal responsibility if necessary.
When Unifor represents workers, we make sure they have the facts- and nowhere is this more important than when it comes to our Health & Safety at work.
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