Temperatures are expected to soar this week in many parts of the state.
- Fatigue and heat stress are major causes of injury in hot conditions
- Heat can reduce a worker’s performance and productivity, plus increase the chance of injury by reducing the ability to concentrate, recognise risks and communicate effectively.
- Heat related claims are at a cost $4.3 million, so it needs to be taken seriously and managed effectively
Tips on how to protect yourself from the effects of working in the heat:
- If possible, businesses should try to re-schedule work to cooler times of the day such as early morning or late afternoon
- If this is not possible, ensure workers have access to plain drinking water, at least 200mL every 15-20 minutes, shaded rest areas and frequent rest breaks
- Supervision is also important as people can deteriorate quickly if heat affected, so keep an eye out for each other
- Businesses should set realistic workloads and work schedules and ensure fair distribution of work
- It is important that workers don’t rely on energy or caffeinated drinks which can have a diuretic affect
- Workers can be exposed to UV radiation when working in the shade as well as the sun, so it is important to wear sun protection in all outdoor conditions
- Workers should be provided clothing with a UPF 50+ rating such as loose shirts with long sleeves, collars and long pants
- They should also be provided with broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+, broad brimmed hats and sunglasses which meet Australian Standards for UV protection.