Salvation Army opens cooling station in uptown Port Alberni

Space will give people a cool refuge from soaring temperatures

The Salvation Army will be offering a free cooling station in the main lobby at their space on Argyle Street so people can get out of the heat.

The station will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday and offers an air-conditioned space for people to sit down, as well as bottles of water and light snacks.

Community and Family Services Coordinator Marilyn Burrows said the service will be available for as long as the weather stays hot.

“It really started because people were coming in and asking for water,” she said.

WorkSafe BC is warning about the dangers of heat stress for outdoor workers. In 2016, there were 16 accepted claims for work-related injuries caused by heat exhaustion and heat stroke in B.C. Between 2007 and 2016 in Alberni-Clayoquot, there was one accepted claim.

“Outdoor workers face many risks when the weather is hot,” says Dan Strand, WorkSafeBC prevention field services director. “By law, employers are required to know if their workers are at risk by performing a heat-stress assessment and implementing a mitigation plan, when necessary.”

To prevent heat stress, workers should drink one glass of water every 20 minutes. Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric. Make sure to take rest breaks in a cool, well-ventilated area. Do the hardest physical work during the coolest parts of the day, before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Know your personal risk factors, such as medications and any pre-existing conditions, and check yourself and your co-workers for signs and symptoms.

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