Alberta gov’t issues advisory on working under extreme temperatures



Understanding the health risks of working under extreme temperatures can help employers protect their employees. While this information is most suitable for outside working workers, it can also help workers working in indoor (hot) or cold environments.

For more information, see the Publications for Safe Work in the Summer and Winter .

Working in the Wings of the Dead

When you work in the cold, most of your body’s energy is constantly used to maintain internal temperature. However, your body’s ability to adapt is limited. Coughing occurs when your internal body temperature drops.

Initial warning sign

Warning symptoms of a cold include:

  • Feeling cold and shaky
  • Reducing the feel or tingling of the fingers and abdomen
  • Difficult to move fingers, hands, and toes (difficult to work)
  • Frost Nip (White on the outside of the skin)
  • “unusual -umbles”, such as falling, snorting, numbness and irritability while walking.

Further worsening of symptoms

  • Extreme kumba, and then kumba halt
  • Difficult to coordinate
  • Confusion
  • Frost Byte (skin deep inside, blue or red)
  • Fainting

Excessive cough can cause hypothermia (loss of heat within the body), which can lead to death.

How to stay warm

  • Wear warm clothing in layers and in heat
  • Cover the skin
  • Stay in the sun
  • Take a break in a few minutes
  • Keep the shoes dry
  • Keep moving (but avoid sweating) to keep the body warm.

What employers can do

Working in cold temperatures, you should have the following:

  • Work site (on-site) heater or warm shelter
  • Work / warm up schedule
  • Have flexible working hours where employees can take extra breaks when needed
  • Protect workers from drafts or wind as much as possible
  • Use a buddy system so that one does not work alone
  • Specify the adjustment period before scheduling work
  • Evaluate hazards, maintain safety protections, and educate workers on the dangers of working in the wings

Working in the heat of the extreme

Your body needs time to adapt to working in hot weather. This process can take 4 to 7 business days, but may vary for each person. To ensure that you work safely, you should gradually increase working hours during the summer.

Initial warning sign

Symptoms of heat warning include:

  • Playful
  • Fainting, heartburn and fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Headache and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating too much
  • Summer rash

Worsening of symptoms

  • Sweating can stop
  • Hot and dry skin
  • Changes in pulse speed
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

Excessive heat exposure can result in heat stroke, which is life-threatening.

How To Avoid Overheating

  • Take breaks when needed
  • Drink plenty of water (1 cup water every 15 minutes)
  • Use clothing and safety equipment designed to reduce the effects of heat
  • Reduce physical activity in hot environments
  • Learn the symptoms of heat stroke

What the employer (employer) can do

When operating in hot temperatures, you should expect the following:

  • Use the restroom schedule
  • Move the workspace to a cool place area
  • Create a cold area (cooling station) where workers can rest
  • Allow workers (workers) to adjust to temperature
  • Schedule more physical activity during the daylight hours
  • Provide plenty of cold water to drink
  • Evaluate hazards, maintain safety protections, and familiarize workers with summer work hazards

Infographics (information with the help of charts or pictures)

You can print and share infographics related to working in extreme temperatures .


To contact OHS:

Phone: 780-415-8690 (Edmonton)
Toll Free: 1-866-415-8690 
TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton)
TTY: 1-800-232-7215

Ask the expert

(source: )

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