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MPP Peter Tabuns, NDP Critic for Climate Action, Queen's Park Media room screen shot, May 22, 2024.

Opposition/Labour seek action on heat-stress in workplace

By Randy Thoms May 24, 2024 | 3:11 PM

The NDP and labour group are pushing for measures that protection workers from heat stress.

NDP critic Peter Tabuns plans to introduce a motion in the legislature that requests a revision to health and safety regulations that recognizes heat as a hazard for workers.

Tabuns says climate change is leading to heat hazards becoming increasingly common and putting workers’ health at risk.

“Ontario summers are getting hotter and hotter, leading to unsafe working conditions for many workers in our province. We need better protection for workers from heat stress as Ontario faces more climate change-driven extreme heat events,” says Tabuns.

Tabuns looks to some southern states as examples that Ontario could follow.

He says some have mandated water breaks, access to water and cooling rooms for workers to use when the temperature reaches extreme levels.

Labour groups are backing the effort.

President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Laura Walton, says it would benefit all workers, no matter their profession.

“From sweltering classrooms to poorly ventilated and not cooled long-term care rooms, from sweltering shop floors to the burning heat of a job site, the heat is a hazard that many cannot escape. We are turning the heat up on this government and all MPPs to step forward and pass this legislation without delay,” says Watson

The Ford government sought consultation on a heat-stress regulation last year but has yet to take further action.