Summer heat safety reminder

December 17, 2015

TWU (Vic/Tas) branch secretary Wayne Mader has reminded members to consider hot temperatures as they go about their working days over summer.

From December 17-20, Victorians sweated through several days where the mercury hit over 35C and, in some parts of the state, 45C.

The weather bureau has predicted more high-temperature days will sweep Victoria before the end of the summer.

Wayne has asked employers to consider the welfare of workers during hot periods.

“The risks to health and safety for those working outdoors during a heatwave are clear but, at the same time, members and employers need to be reminded that indirect heat and fatigue can severely affect those working indoors,” he said.

“The risks are heightened for those operating machinery and/or vehicles and it’s a good move to reschedule or modify strenuous tasks for a cooler time of the day. We should be doing everything we can to prevent workplace injury.”

According to WorkSafe Victoria, employers can help manage risks by:

·         Ensuring workers stay hydrated and wear suitable hats, clothing and other sun protection

·         Providing additional rest breaks in a cool, shaded area

·         Providing cool drinking water near the work site and encouraging workers to take more breaks

·         Using mechanical aids to reduce physical exertion, and

·         Providing workers with information, instruction and training to manage fatigue and illness associated with high temperatures.

Members who feel they are being forced to work in unsafe conditions should raise the issue with their Union delegate.

The Country Fire Association also continually update fire warnings 

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