'This is probably the hottest one I remember': heat wave challenging outdoor workers
Published Friday, August 10, 2018 5:55PM CST
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2018 5:56PM CST
With most of Manitoba under heat warnings and an extended heat advisory, there looks to be no relief for workers labouring outside.
According to Environment Canada, southern Manitoba can expect temperatures of 32 degrees or higher or Saturday and Sunday, with overnight temperatures remaining high.
Poor air quality is proving to be another obstacle for outdoor workers, due to drifting smoke from forest fires in Alberta and British Columbia.
Dr. Denise Koh, chief occupational medical officer, told CTV News both the heat and smoke are cause for concern.
“It depends on what’s in the haze right?” said Koh.
“There might be a protective factor in the sense that some of the solar radiation will get reflected off, but then at the same time if you’re breathing in something that includes particulates, the small particles, that can also become a factor.”
This week’s extreme heat is only adding to what’s already been a long, hot summer for workers like Leaf Consulting and Landscaping owner Hillary Proctor and her crew.
“We all have an understand that this year’s been difficult,” said Proctor.
“We have a lot of work to do, so we try and keep a certain pace and that pace is definitely harder when it’s really hot.”
A feeling shared by Superior Asphalt Paving foreman Brian Olford, who has been doing paving work for 18 years.
“Sometimes guys will miss the next day because of heat exhaustion, you just kind of work with it.”
Oldford said the company has checks and balances to ensure workers stay safe in extreme heat: key practices that are enforced by company health and safety officer Hailey Mulligan.
Mulligan told CTV News workers fill out safety forms identifying hazards including heat, and information on the nearest hospital in case of emergency.
“If they just know the signs, and they know to take frequent breaks and drink lots of water.”