Work safety

Hot days spark safety warning

With temperatures rising over the summer period, employers need to ensure tasks are managed safely, with WorkSafe urging employers to plan ahead to protect workers in this summer's prolonged extreme heat.

Working in hot conditions can easily result in workers becoming dehydrated and suffering heat stress. Serious cases of heat stress can result in serious brain injury and organ failure, so the risks should never be underestimated. Today’s expected top of 40 degrees in Melbourne calls for employers to ensure that tasks are managed safely.

It's important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload. Some work may need to be rescheduled or modified to reduce exposure to the heat. It could be a simple plan to start and finish the day earlier.

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Hot days spark safety warning

It’s important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload. Some work may need to be rescheduled or modified to reduce exposure to the heat. It could be a simple plan to start and finish the day earlier.

Employers also need to consider the impact of heat on workers performing indoor tasks. The temperature in a roof space, or next to a metal wall can be significantly higher than an outdoor area, which mean workers can face an even greater risk of heat stress and fatigue. Fatigue can result in exceptionally dangerous situations, particularly when people are operating machinery or vehicles, or driving home after work.

Ways to help manage heat risks:

  • Reschedule work so the hot tasks are performed during the cooler part of the day
  • Work from a different location
  • Wear light clothing that still provides adequate protection
  • Reduce the time spent doing hot tasks
  • Arrange for more workers to do the job
  • Provide extra rest breaks in a cool area
  • Using mechanical aids to reduce physical exertion
  • Ensure workers have access to cool water and stay hydrated.

Click here to visit the WorkSafe website and learn how to reduce the risks of working in the heat.

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It's important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload. Some work may need to be rescheduled or modified to reduce exposure to the heat. It could be a simple plan to start and finish the day earlier.

Share this quote
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