The snow has melted and it’s finally shorts weather (well, I mean socially acceptable shorts weather).

Ah yes, this is summer in Canada.

But what’s that?

You open the door to greet the sunshine and it’s like you’ve been punched in the throat by hot, sticky weather.

Oh no, it’s summer in Canada and you’re melting.

Whether you’re a fan of the feeling just described or not, working in the summer comes with its fair share of risks. Heat stroke is at the forefront of those risks.

tired supervisor sitting with colleague at construction site wipes sweat from his brow

“Curse that fire orb and its constant heat rays!”

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a nasty illness that results in a person’s body temperature rising above 40°C. This will usually be paired with confusion, red skin, headache and dizziness because your body is basically cooking itself. Heat stroke can also lead to seizures, kidney failure or rhabdomyolysis — a condition in which damaged muscles break down rapidly.

What causes heat stroke?

There’s a lot of stress on your body when you physically exert yourself in hot, humid weather. Our bodies sweat to regulate our body temperatures, but if we overexert ourselves in the heat, our bodies build more heat than they can lose.

If you aren’t replenishing fluids by drinking water regularly, you won’t produce sweat and you overheat.

How to mitigate the risk of heat stroke:

Hydration:

Staying hydrated is the easiest and most effective thing you can do to avoid heat stroke.

Water is important, so take breaks regularly. If you’re sweating a lot you’re going to be losing electrolytes as well. This means you’ll be low on minerals like salt and potassium.

Not having enough electrolytes in your body can result in muscle weakness, spasms, cramps, paralysis and respiratory problems.

You could spend a few bucks a day buying bottles of Gatorade or for the same price buy a 1.89L bottle of Sqwincher liquid concentrate. Each bottle makes 18 litres of juice to help replenish fluids and electrolytes.

sqwincher fruit punch

Sqwincher comes in fruit punch, lemon-lime, orange and tropical flavours and you can order a 5 gallon cooler from us as well. Learn more.

Cooling clothing:

Choosing breathable clothing goes a long way to not overheating.

Cooling pads, bandanas and liners are good and inexpensive ways to provide up to four hours of cooling.

Product image of Chill-Its Cooling Hard Hat Pad With Neck Shade

Monitoring weather conditions:

Monitoring weather conditions for temperature, wind, and humidity can also give insight into when it might be too hot.

Take it a step beyond the weather app on your phone by using a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WGBT) monitor.

The WGBT is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight, which takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation).

We sell a variety of WGBT monitors which can provide you with a guideline for work and rest.

wet bulb glow thermometer

These are just a few of the ways you can prevent heat stroke this summer. If you’re looking for other ways, visit our summer catalogue.

Matt Burtney

Content Marketing Specialist

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