Levitt-Safety Blog

How to stay safe during a heat wave in Canada

Leslie MolinMarket Segment Manager - Personal SafetyJune 29, 2021

There’s a heat wave across large parts of Canada right now. With it come many dangers including heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke.

This post looks at three solutions to keep cool during a heat wave.

How to stay safe during a heat wave in Canada

Tip #1. Hydrate:

Staying hydrated is critical during a heat wave so take regular breaks to drink water.

If you're sweating a lot you're going to lose electrolytes. This means you'll be low on minerals like salt and potassium.

A lack of 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 you could buy a 1.89L bottle of Sqwincher liquid concentrate. Each bottle makes 18 litres of juice to help replenish fluids and electrolytes.

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

product image of a bottle of sqwincher fruit punch

Tip #2. Wear PPE that keeps you cool:

Moisture-wicking shirt:

A moisture-wicking fabric has two jobs:

  1. Move sweat to the outer surface of a fabric.
  2. Dry fast so sweat doesn't saturate the fabric.

Choosing shirts with moisture-wicking technology keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the day.

We carry the Pioneer 6990 hi-viz safety shirts made with birdseye polyester.

Along with wicking moisture away from your skin, these shirts are CSA Z96 class 2 level 2 compliant for high visibility. This makes them a great choice on most work sites requiring high visibility PPE.

product image of Pioneer orange safety shirt with hi-viz strips along shoulders and stomach

PPE with cooling technology:

Choosing breathable clothing goes a long way to not overheating. The Chill-Its® line from Ergodyne is a great option for anyone working in the heat for many hours.

Chill-Its uses polymer technology to keep clothes cool.

The polymer, in its dry state, feels like little balls of sand within the clothing. Once soaked in water for 2 to 5 minutes, the polymers absorb water to keep you cool for up to four hours.

You can get heat stress PPE with cooling technology in the following styles:

    ergodyne chill-its with evaporative technology

    Tip #3. Measure environmental heat stress:

    Environmental heat stress is measured by:

    • heat index, a combination of temperature and humidity, and
    • wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which takes radiant heat sources into consideration.

    WBGT data is used for work/rest guidelines to help keep a worker’s core body temperature below 38 C (102 F).

    LSI Heat Shield Heat Stress Monitor

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

    The LSI Heat Shield with a two-inch globe is an advanced worker heat stress instrument for industrial hygiene and health and safety professionals.

    Heat Shield integrates glove/wet bulb/dry bulb temperatures and relative humidity sensors to display and store the following:

    • WBGT indoor and outdoor index
    • heat index, and
    • humidex measurements.

    Along with the LSI Heat Shield, we carry some smaller handheld models as well:

    Sper Scientific WBGT heat stress monitor with wet bulb