Outdoor work in cold requires care, says WCB


P.E.I.'s Workers Compensation Board is urging workers and employers to take special precautions while working outside during the extremely cold weather conditions this week.

Regulations are in place if the temperature dips to -26C. There is nothing as cold as that in the forecast, but wind chills over the next couple of days are expected to dip into the -30s.

Employees working in extreme temperatures are being told to dress in layers, wear a hat, protect hands and feet, drink hot liquids, and cover metal handles and bars with insulating materials. Workers should also take more frequent breaks in a warm place.

"We're not used to the cold temperatures here," said Bill Reid, director of occupational health and safety with the Workers Compensation Board.

"Typically in the winter we don't get into the -20 range very often, so people are not acclimatized to that."

Reid said workers who feel they are not being treated properly by employers are asked to first issue a complaint with company officials. If it's not addressed, Workers Compensation Board officials will investigate.

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