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November 8, 2016
Australians will generally appreciate the fact that it can get extremely hot in summer. So if your workplace requires employees to be outdoors, it is important to ask the question: if it is too hot outside, should I allow employees to stop working?
As an employer, you must make sure so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers carrying out work in extreme weather conditions, are able to do so without risk to their health and safety.
You should consider personal and environmental factors when assessing the risk to workers from working in very hot (or cold) environments.
However, whatever the thermometer reads, if most people are complaining of the heat, common sense says that it is too hot and something must be done to protect workers from health risks.
You should also remember that air temperature is only a rough guide because humidity, wind speed, radiant heat sources, and clothing, all have an effect, which an ordinary thermometer will not take into account.
Environmental factors include:
Personal factors include:
If the work environment is too hot, and there is no possibility of eliminating exposure to extreme heat, Employsure suggests various minimising actions that can be undertaken, so far as is reasonable practicable, and can include:
While there is no hard line on the conditions that are considered as ‘too hot’ to work, the above actions can minimise health and safety risks in your workplace. If you have questions or would like to learn more about minimising health and safety risks in your workplace, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415 to speak with a specialist.
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