Working or playing where it is hot puts stress on your body’s cooling system. When heat is combined with other stresses such as hard physical work, loss of fluids, fatigue or some pre-existing medical conditions, it may lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death.
This can happen to anybody – even the young and fit. In Ontario, heat stress is usually a concern during the summer. This is especially true early in the summer, when people are not used to the heat.
Heat exposure may occur in many workplaces. Significant sources of heat can be found in workplaces such as foundries, smelters, chemical plants, bakeries and commercial kitchens. For outdoor workers, direct sunlight is usually the main source of heat. In mines, especially deep mines, geothermal gradients and equipment contribute to heat exposure. Humidity in workplaces also contributes to heat stress.