WorkCover NSW is reminding businesses and workers to take necessary precautions to
prevent fatigue and heat stroke as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicted
hot weather conditions across NSW in the next few days.
WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division General Manager, John Watson said the
BOM was predicting day time temperatures in the low to high 30Cs for the next 2 days
in some areas.
“Businesses and workers, especially those working in heat-related conditions, need
to be vigilant to the risks of working in high temperatures,” said Mr Watson.
“Fatigue and heat stress can affect a worker’s health, reducing their performance
and productivity, and increasing the chance of a workplace injury through the reduced
ability to concentrate, recognise risks and communicate effectively.
“Businesses and workers should work in partnership to protect themselves from the
effects of working in heat.
Mr Watson recommended re-scheduling work to cooler times of the day to avoid heat
“If it 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.”
He said heat-related illnesses can cause death.
“In the three years to July 2011, there were 497 claims for workplace fatigue and
heat stroke at a cost of $4.3 million,” he said.
“Common heat illness symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, general weakness and
collapse. If you or your workers show any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical
WorkCover NSW recommends the following actions to reduce workers’ heat exposure and
Provide and maintain equipment and shelter to protect workers from the sun
Provide sun safety information, instruction, training and supervision
Rotate tasks to lessen exposure to the sun as well as mental and physical fatigue,
and schedule work at cooler times of the day
Use rest periods in addition to scheduled meal breaks
Provide water and encourage workers to stay hydrated
Provide personal protective equipment such as clothing with UPF 50+ rating, loose
shirts with long sleeves, collars and long pants, broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30+),
and sunglasses which meet Australian Standards for UV protection
Use plant, machinery and equipment to eliminate or reduce the excessive physical
demands of the job.
Prevent fatigue & heat stroke in hot weather (safetyculture.com.au 12.55am 10/10/13)
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