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Summer Safety

Picture of warm summer sunset over a lake with grasses in the foreground.
With the arrival of warmer weather comes an increase in the chance of injuries as people spend more time outdoors and doing activities that can put them at risk. Although summer activities can be a lot of fun, we should always take proper precautions to avoid any injuries in ourselves and others.

Here are some simple summer safety tips to keep you safe:

Sun Safety

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, eye damage, and cancer. Be sure to check the UV Index — The higher the number, the greater the need to take precautions.


Inforgraphic from coohs.ca

Protect your skin

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to sun, especially between 11am – 4pm
  • Seek shaded areas such as trees, buildings or canopies, or bring your own (e.g., an umbrella).
  • Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible and a wide-brimmed hat, as appropriate to the activity and weather.
  • Use sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum” and “water resistant” with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on skin not covered by clothing. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply often.
  • Avoid getting a sunburn and avoid intentional tanning.
  • Outdoor workers should be provided access to water and encouraged to take breaks in areas where they can cool down.

Protect your eyes

  • Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses with UV protective lenses.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat for added eye protection.
Learn more about Sun Safety at Work

Thunder Storm Safety

When thunder roars, go indoors!

Knowing what to do when lightning is close is especially important for people who work outdoors. Pay attention to weather conditions and forecasts to allow time to plan and react appropriately.

Take Shelter in a Building or Vehicle

  • The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is in a well-constructed building — fully enclosed with a roof, walls and floor with electrical wiring, plumbing, telephone line, or antennas to ground the lightning should the building be hit directly.
  • The next best place for shelter is an enclosed metal car, truck or van but NOT a tractor, golf cart, topless or soft-top vehicle. Make sure the vehicle is not parked near trees or other tall objects that could fall over during a storm. Be aware of downed power lines that may be touching your car. You are safe inside the car, but you may receive a shock if you step outside.

If You Can’t Reach Shelter

  • While there is no safe place to be outdoors during a thunderstorm, there are areas that might be less dangerous, and help reduce the risk of being struck by lightning.
  • Stay away from things that are tall and other objects that conduct electricity (tractors, metal fences, lawnmowers, golf clubs).
  • Do not become the prime target by being the highest object on the landscape. Take shelter in low-lying areas such as valleys or ditches but watch for flooding.
  • If you are with a group of people in the open, spread out several metres apart from one another.
  • If you get caught in a level field far from shelter, crouch down on the balls of your feet immediately, with feet together, place your arms around your knees and bend forward. Be the smallest target possible, and at the same time, minimize your contact with the ground. Don’t lie flat.
Learn more about Environmental Disaster Preparedness

Bug Safety

Mosquitoes can cause a number of illnesses, including West Nile Virus. Protect yourself at work and play.

For workers, employers should provide education about the risk of mosquito-borne illness and supply mosquito repellant.

Prevent Bites

  • Use insect repellant with DEET and wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
  • Do not leave doors or windows propped open.
  • Remove standing water where possible.
  • Turn on air conditioning; mosquitoes prefer warm, damp and dark spaces.

Published: June 22, 2020

“Enhancing Sun Safety in Canadian Workplaces”, Sun Safety at Work, sunsafetyatwork.ca

“Prepare for Emergency and Disaster for Individuals and Business”, Manitoba Infrastructure, www.gov.mb.ca/emo/prepare/home/prepare.html

“Reduce the Threat of Zika Virus and Other Mosquito-borne Illnesses”, The National Safety Council, www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/zika