Extreme cold makes work days unsafe for those who work outdoors, and for Workers in Alberta, it is up to the employer to regulate when it is safe to work. In Alberta, most employees have experience preparing for the cold, but they also need to be prepared for hot summer conditions. We are fortunate to have laws in Alberta that protect us at work. There are many different laws, but the most important are: Section 21: In a closed workplace, the minimum depends on the work performed (e.g., heavy work 12°C; light work 20°C) Section 22: Extreme temperatures: 1997 ACGIH TLV for exposure to heat and cold If employees® have concerns about working conditions, they should communicate with occupational health and safety. In mid-2019, Google seemed to be pushing employee organizers to leave.  The organizers of the walkout said they had been put on leave for opaque reasons.  In April, strike organizers Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton wrote that they had been demoted or reassigned in retaliation for their unionization. Stapleton left Google in June and Whittaker in July.  In response, some employees participated in a sit-in and demanded that Google investigate its human resources department.  The company denied the allegations, but introduced new policies against employee protests and policies in power that further undermined workers` trust in parts of its employees.  A settlement reached in September with the National Labour Relations Board in response to the departures of Stapleton and whittaker required political clarifications that explicitly allowed employees to act collectively and discuss workplace issues among themselves and with the press.  The deal did not reduce tensions, which escalated again in November, when the New York Times reported that Google had been working with IRI Consultants, a company known for promoting union breakups, for several months.
 These rules also apply to cold conditions, and employers should consider whether extremely cold weather poses a risk to the safety of their employees. •Educating workers about the hazards of working in the cold and the controls to protect them There is no uniform rule for protecting workers from the weather, as every workplace and every employee is different. In general, however, the best course of action is: in very cold temperatures, the biggest concern is the risk of hypothermia or dangerous hypothermia of the body. Another serious effect of cold exposure is frostbite or freezing of exposed extremities such as fingers, toes, nose and earlobes. Hypothermia could be fatal if there is no immediate medical help. “Cold weather is a reality in Alberta and it is important for employers to protect their workers from the health and safety risks associated with working in the cold. I encourage all employers and workers to be aware of their rights and obligations regarding workplace safety, especially when the weather is getting colder,” said Labour Minister Christina Gray. “There are certain areas of our country that have specific rules and regulations when it comes to working in the cold,” Harrison said. “We don`t have that here in Alberta.” Occupational Health and Safety indicates that employers must ensure that their employees dress properly for weather conditions and take breaks to avoid dehydration.
Wednesday, January 18. If you are fired or punished for reporting, there are laws that set out procedures that you can follow. Learn more about Alberta`s Employment Standards Code, Alberta`s Occupational Health and Safety Act and Alberta`s Human Rights Act. The law gives you rights and obligations. It is important that you denounce employers if they violate your rights. If you report your employers for violating any of the laws listed above, you cannot be punished or fired by your boss. Where there are no maximum or minimum exposure limits for cold work environments, there are guidelines that can be used to conduct work or task assessments, create safe work schedules, and monitor conditions to protect the health and safety of workers who may be exposed to cold temperatures. If there are differences between the recommendations of different organizations (and if there are no limits or guidelines set by your jurisdiction), employers are encouraged to choose a system that best protects their employees. Section 4.12: Thermal Stress: Current ACGIH VLT for Exposure to Heat and Cold Section 4.13: Thermal Conditions – Indoor Workplaces: Suitable for the Work Performed® A hazard assessment should be repeated at appropriate practical intervals to prevent the development of hazardous and unhealthy working conditions. Extreme weather can be a good time to repeat a risk assessment. Employers can assume that hot weather is not a safety risk, especially since we are experiencing such a short summer season in Alberta.
However, weather conditions affect each person differently, so employers should take the time to assess whether employees may be particularly affected by the heat.