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Published: July 7th 2012
Source: Don Ashley - Chairperson - Provincial Legislative Board of Ontario


Protect yourself from heat exposure
Brothers and Sisters,

It has been brought to my attention by one of the divisions that health and safety concerns exist with working in extreme conditions due to the recent heat wave. The members of that division were inquiring as to their rights regarding working in this heat and looking for some direction as regulatory standards do not exist to cover these conditions. I am sure these concerns exist in many of your divisions as well.

My response to this was as follows;

Just because there are no regulatory standards that specify occupational heat exposure limits does not mean the employer does not have a responsibility to protect our members from heat exposure. Section 124 of the Canada Labour Code Part II states: "Every employer shall ensure that the health and safety at work of every person employed by the employer is protected."

For the future this health and safety concern should be advanced to the company and the health and safety committee to address. For the immediate our members should use the protection afforded by the code and invoke their right to refuse when they reach a point that continuing to work would put their health and safety in danger.

I have provided the following documents for your reference;

bullet Working in Hot Environments: Health & Safety Guide, prepared by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
bullet Humidex Based Heat Response Plan, prepared by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)
bullet Heat Stress Awareness Guide, prepared by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)

Please share this information with your members.


Don Ashley
TCRC - Provincial Legislative Board of Ontario




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