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River East Transcona School Division
creating student success
Working in Extreme Heat or Cold

 Safe Operating Procedure


 Document Control

A. System
RETSD Quality Management System
B. System ID
C. Sector
​Workplace Safety and Health Management System
D. Sector ID
E. Domain
F. Repository
​Divisional SharePoint Website
G. Audience
​All Staff
H. Status
I. Title:
Working in Extreme Heat or Cold
J. Format
K. Type
​Safe Operating Procedure
L. Tags

M. Origin
N. Reviewed

O. Revised
P. Owner
​Manager, Workplace Safety and Health and Administrative Services
Q. Owner Email
R. Primary Approval
​Divisional  Workplace Safety and Health Committee
S. Department Approval
​Director of Human Resources
T. Senior Administration  Approval
​Assistant Superintendent - Human Resources 
U. Board Approval
​GBG Workplace Safety and Health
V. Notes

W. Scheduled Review

X. File Address
Y. User Defined 1

Z. User Defined 2

 Safe Operating Procedure Controlled Document




To establish divisional expectations and standards regarding a working in extreme heat or cold program at River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) that meets or exceeds all municipal, federal and provincial legislated workplace safety and health program requirements.


A  working in extreme heat or cold program must be defined and documented for compliance as part of Element 2, identify and control hazards and emergencies, for the effective development and implementation of a workplace safety and health program under Manitoba legislation.




This safe operating procedure and associated documents establish a procedure for a working in extreme heat or cold program for all workers at RETSD. The best practices apply to all RETSD worksites.




All workers are expected to take appropriate precautions to avoid extreme heat or cold stress by assessing risk and applying hazard controls




Working in extreme heat or cold can be a challenge at RETSD.


RETSD shall, when our workplace or work process exposes a worker to conditions that may create a risk to the worker's because of heat or cold, implement safe work procedures and control measures that ensure:


(a) the threshold limit values for thermal stress established by the ACGIH in its publication, Threshold Limit Value for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Indices, are followed;




(b) the worker is provided with information, instruction and training in the symptoms of thermal stress and the precautions to be taken to avoid injury from thermal stress.


RETSD shall establish and maintain thermal conditions, including air temperature, radiant temperature, humidity and air movement, in an indoor workplace that are appropriate to the nature of the work being performed.

Information on Safely Working in Hot Environments


The following documents from the Government of Manitoba give valuable information how to recognize the symptoms of thermal stress and precautions that can be taken to avoid injury from thermal stress.


  • Guidelines for Work in Hot Environments

  • Safe Work Bulletin #133 Worker Discomfort and Increased Temperatures


These documents may be posted in the workplace at appropriate times to remind employees of heat and cold stress are factors in the work environment.


Heat Stress Preventative Measures


  • Fans have been or will be provided to move air in the hot workspaces

  • Water is readily available at water fountains and coolers, and workers can keep water at their workstation sites

  • Supervisors or others in charge are being reminded to be aware of precaution procedures, and if possible, assigning more taxing work to be done at off peak times during the work day

  • Employees working in heat are reminded to keep hydrated by drinking cool water or other cold beverages

  • Wear lighter clothing where possible

  • If work needs to be performed outside in direct sunlight that precautions are taken to protect from UV rays (Hats, loose fitting clothing etc.).


Heat and Humidity Awareness


Supervisors and others in charge that assign work are asked to keep an eye on temperatures and the humidex to help make work decisions in hot weather. See intranet weather services for details.

Heat and Humidity Tracking at RETSD


When outside temperatures reach 27 degrees Celsius, supervisors, and people in charge or designates should keep track of the heat and humidity readings inside the facility.


Each facility should have a thermometer and humidity gauge.


Supervisors and people in charge or designates are to keep records of heat and humidity tracking, when required.

Extreme Cold Awareness


Most work at RETSD is performed indoors. If work tasks take a person outside in extreme cold conditions, the following guidelines shall be used:


  • The Supervisor or others in charge assigning work will assign work in extreme cold conditions in a manner that will not expose the worker to undue risk by using a combination of work exposure cycles, scheduling options, job rotation, PPE, and other methods as applicable.


  • Workers are responsible for wearing appropriate clothing for cold conditions.




A combination of hard-copy postings, distributions and electronic posting will be used to communicate safety and health program information within RETSD.




All stakeholders shall be trained to their required level of involvement in the WSHMS to become familiar with its structure, organization, and how to look up and access information both electronically and in hard copy form through:


  • New employee orientation, employee manuals or employment information packages


  • Return to work or remedial programs, as required on an individual basis


  • Planned ongoing training through team meetings, individual coaching or other methods as developed or adopted




Ultimately, the superintendent shall be responsible for the sustainability of the WSHMS, and shall enforce compliance to standards at a divisional level.


Workplace safety and health management system compliance shall be managed through the application of performance management and progressive discipline policies and procedures.


Worker failure to comply with provisions of the RETSD safety program may lead to discipline, up to and including discharge from employment and / or other remedies available at law.


Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act or equivalent legislation as applicable


Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation or equivalent legislation as applicable


Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 02 – General Duties


Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 08 – Musculoskeletal Injuries


Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Program Element 02 – Identifying and Controlling Hazards


All other associated and applicable workplace safety and health management system documents