October 17th, 2018

Lethbridge is packing heat

By Lethbridge Herald on August 9, 2018.

Fumi Arita, visiting from Japan, laughs as she loses her balance on a standup paddleboard while enjoying the cool waters of Emerald Bay with friends Anya Gilbert and Roshan Bidarian (unseen at the back of the board) earlier this week in Waterton. Southern Alberta could see record high temperatures Friday before things cool off into the weekend. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Nick Kuhl
Lethbridge Herald
Today’s forecast high by Environment Canada of 39 C would set a new city temperature record for Aug. 10.
The average high for that date is 26.2 C, according to EC records, with the highest temperature from 1938 to 2007 being 37.6 C in 2003.
With a UV index at nine, there is also a heat warning in effect for the city of Lethbridge and the majority of southern Alberta.
Residents of, and visitors to, the warned regions are advised to take the following precautions to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours: consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day; take frequent breaks from the heat; spend time indoors at cooled buildings (including malls or indoor pools); drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated; and do not leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle, for any length of time.
EC and Alberta Health Services also suggest to monitor for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting and unconsciousness. Particular vigilance is urged for vulnerable individuals, including children, seniors, individuals with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health or diabetic conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated.
For more heat health advice, including for vulnerable individuals, visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/heat.aspx.
The Alberta Government also sent out a heat warning release on Thursday, saying employers and workers need to take special precautions to stay safe when working in the heat.
“Heat warnings are active in many parts of the province,” said Christina Gray, minister of labour, in the release.
“Albertans working outside, or indoors where there is no air conditioning, should take precautions against the heat. Employers also have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment and should be familiar with prevention strategies. Together, we can make sure everyone makes it home safe.”
The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers. Employers can: provide sufficient cool drinking water; create a cooling station where workers can rest; reduce physical activity, for example, through extra breaks; acclimatize workers by gradually increasing outdoor work; and try to direct work to a cooler, shaded area, or schedule physically demanding jobs for cooler times of the day.
Parts of the province are also experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke. Workers can call Occupational Health and Safety at 1-866-415-8690 if they feel their workplace is unhealthy or unsafe due to hot weather or smoky conditions.
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