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Prioritize Safety During BC Heat Wave

  • Bulletin; Health & Safety
It is the employer’s responsibility to keep members safe at work

Environment Canada has issued a weather advisory regarding a heat wave affecting parts of BC this week. Temperatures are expected to climb into the thirty-to-forty-degree Celsius range in areas across the province. In extreme heat conditions such as these, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure all workers are safe.

Employers must conduct a heat stress assessment where a worker is, or may be, exposed to environmental conditions that could cause heat disorders. If a worker is exposed to such conditions, employers must develop and implement a heat stress exposure plan. As part of this plan, employers, supervisors, and workers must have a basic understanding of how heat affects the body if they are to prevent heat stress [WorkSafeBC].

Your employer and manager are responsible for putting controls in place to ensure your safety. Members should check with their employer about what plans are in place to prevent heat-related injuries.

As per WorkSafe BC legislation, employees have the responsibility to report signs and symptoms of heat stress in the workplace. Common symptoms include excessive sweating, dizziness, and nausea.

Employees can call the Provincial Workplace Health Contact Centre (1-866-922-9464) to report any incidents of heat stress or near misses. The call to the PWHCC will initiate a report going to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) for investigation, and a BCNU JOHSC representative will reach out to you as part of this process.

If you have reported a concern and have received no response call toll-free, at 1-800-663-9991. Leave a message with the BCNU OHS Department and staff will return your call between the hours of 0900 – 1700, Monday to Friday or via email at healthandsafety@bcnu.org.

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