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Ask the specialistJanuary 5, 2017
As the weather heats up, Employsure is urging employers to have plans in place to prevent workers suffering from heat stress, heat illness and other issues related to working in heat. Heat can reduce concentration, judgment and reaction time causing a potential increase in the risk of worker injury. These concerns are particularly relevant for those who work outdoors and in other hot environments such as roof spaces or other confined areas.
Employers need to be proactive and make plans to protect their workers from the risks of working in the heat. They are required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers who are exposed to extreme temperatures can carry out their work without risk to their health and safety.
So what can you do to minimise the risks to your outdoor workers?
Safe Work Australia and the various state work health and safety regulators provide guidance material that employers can use to minimise the risks to their workers. For example, the model Code of Practice: Managing the Work Environment and Facilities from Safe Work Australia provides practical steps to manage the risks of working in extreme temperatures.
Some of the practical tips you can use to reduce the risk to your workers include:
Further, workers should always have access to first aid, regardless of where they are working. It is also important to train workers that frequently work in extreme temperatures on how to recognise the symptoms of heat-related illnesses (such as dizziness, general weakness, collapse and heat stroke) and appropriate first aid.
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