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WorkSafeNB issues heat-related warning

| www.cos-mag.com

In response to a recent heat alert issued by the province of New Brunswick, WorkSafeNB is reminding outdoor workers to be mindful of heat-related risks.

The Department of Health issued a Level 2 heat alert for St. Stephen, N.B., on Thursday, with humidex levels expected to reach between 40 and 44 C for a significant portion of the day.

“In such conditions, heat stress and stroke can easily sneak up on you if you’re not careful,” said Manon Arsenault, WorkSafeNB’s communications director. “The humidex warns people when heat becomes hazardous but it does not take into account a worker’s activity.”

Employers are advised to use the humidex as a guide to limit moderate to heavy work activities to cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening.

WorkSafeNB also recommends workers learn to recognize and watch for signs of heat-related stress. These include:

•heat cramps (excessive sweating and painful muscle spasms)

•heat rash (tiny, raised blister-like rash on the skin)

•heat exhaustion (headache, dizziness and nausea)

•heat syncopy (fainting while standing)

•heat stroke (severe headache, confusion, loss of consciousness and flushed skin).

“If a worker experiences any of these conditions, please seek medical attention immediately,” Arsenault said.

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