Solar Eclipse in Southwestern Ontario

It may not feel that the total eclipse on Monday, April 8, would be a relevant topic. But, since the eclipse will occur while many are at work, business owners may want to give some thought to communicating with their employees about the event. This blog discusses what will happen on the day and provides information to share with team members.

On the afternoon of April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, including a path over Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. The sky darkens as if it were dawn or dusk. This is a major event with the longest totality (when the moon fully blocks the sun) on land for over a decade. 

The eclipse is expected to start around 1:58 p.m. and end around 4:28 p.m. Totality is expected to be between 3:12 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Some areas will see the total eclipse, whereas other areas may see a partial eclipse. Southwestern Ontario is in the path; please see the link below to find your location and the timing of the sun and moon movement on that day in your area.

Solar Eclipse Mapping

If it’s a cloudy day, it will still get dark, and the temperature will go down.

Wildlife or domesticated animals may exhibit changes in behaviour during an eclipse. Animals which usually rouse at sunset may react to the darkness.

We encourage that company management, Health & Safety Representative or Committee forward the following, or similar, message to team members. Of course, please edit this message for your workplace.

Sample Solar Eclipse Email from your Health & Safety Representative

“You will be aware that we are expecting a total eclipse of the sun on the afternoon of Monday, April 8.

We want to remind everyone that it is critically important to not look directly at the sun without proper protective eye gear. Without protection, viewing the eclipse means potential serious eye damage including retinal burns, temporary or permanent vision loss and blurred vision. Since there are no pain receptors in the retina, this reaction will not be felt at all. It can take up to 12 to 48 hours for the signs to emerge.

Viewing the eclipse through sunglasses, camera lenses, smoked glass, phone cameras, homemade filters, photographic or x-ray film does not work and may be damaging to the eyes. Only use items for viewing that are specifically made for viewing an eclipse. These are solar viewing glasses which are ISO-certified for safe viewing and meet requirements for ISO 12312-2.

Our plan on the day is to close the blinds on our windows during the eclipse. Anyone who wishes to view the eclipse, and has appropriate protective eye gear, should go outside to do so. Please ensure you show proof of proper eye gear to your supervisor or manager.”


Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

  • Monitor children; their eyes let in more light, and they are at higher risk.
  • Let clients who are on site that afternoon know what your plan is.
  • Consider closing the blinds in your home or office and watch a livestream of the eclipse rather than the eclipse itself.
  • Do not drive wearing eclipse glasses or look at the sun while driving during the eclipse. Even tinted car windows aren’t enough to protect the eyes. If you must drive at that time, use the visor to obscure the sun.

Viewing a total solar eclipse is an amazing experience and a phenomenon to be remembered. However, it is important to remind each other to stay safe, take care of each other, and follow the professional advice provided.  

Contact Ford Keast LLP in London to Discuss How the Solar Eclipse will Impact Your Business

Contact our expert HR Consultants if you have concerns about the solar eclipse and how you can educate and protect your staff.

To learn more about this topic, please contact our expert HR Consultant online or by telephone at 519-679-9330 ext. 401 to help support you and your business.

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