Heat emergency guidelines

Avoiding heat stress could save workers’ lives
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/04/2003

What can employers do to ease conditions for employees who have to work in extremely hot environments? That question has come to the forefront following the death of a bakery worker in Barrie, Ontario during the recent record-breaking heat wave.

Kim Warner, 44, collapsed near the end of his 12-hour shift on Aug. 8 and later died. He had been working near an oven where the temperature rose to over 60 degrees C. An autopsy revealed he’d died of heat stress.

According to a communiqué released the same day by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, heat stress occurs when a combination of high temperature and physical activity strains, and perhaps even overcomes, the body’s natural cooling system. Heat stress can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal.