Deep freeze puts chill on outdoor workers in Winnipeg
Federal, provincial guidelines mandate frequent breaks, shelter and protective gear for employees
Winnipeg’s freezing cold temperatures are persisting this week, making it difficult for those who work outdoors.
Myles Rothman directs traffic at a construction site in downtown Winnipeg.
“I’m out here for nine or 10 hours,” he said. “I do a lot of walking and pacing because my job is very – this site is very stationary.”
Rothman wears a ski mask and multiple layers of clothing, but it’s not enough to keep him warm the entire shift.
And he’s not alone.
Mark Routley owns Popeye’s Moving and said his workers are feeling the chill. Despite the difficult working conditions, he said he can’t close up shop due to the temperature.
“It’s booked. If they have to go [and] it’s really bad, I’ll call and ask can they put it off a day,” he said.
There are federal and provincial standards that require employers to provide their staff with frequent breaks, shelter and protective gear.
Provincial standards dictate specific temperature and wind chill combinations where all non-emergency work should cease.
As for city workers, City of Winnipeg officials said they are constantly monitored and the existing legislation is there to protect them from harm.