Workers are being reminded to take care as summer temperatures soar in the final month of summer.
Over four years in New South Wales alone, there were 504 workers compensation claims, costing more than $7 million, for heat stroke, fatigue and skin cancer.
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said, “Working in extreme heat shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can reduce concentration and the ability to recognise risks and this can result in serious injury or even death.”
“Outdoor workers are most at risk, but also those in confined areas such as roof spaces or those in poorly ventilated indoor workplaces. Businesses should monitor the temperature and humidity, as well as workers’ hydration to minimise their exposure to heat-related illness and UV radiation.
Safe Work NSW encourage Tradies to:
Drink at least 200Ml of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
Don’t drink energy or caffeinated drinks as they can have a diuretic effect.
Provide frequent breaks and rotate tasks to lessen exposure to the heat, as well as mental and physical fatigue.
Provide outdoor workers with sun protection, even when working in the shade.
Provide clothing with UPF 50+, including loose shirts, long sleeves, collars and long pants.
Provide broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30+), broad-brimmed hats and wrap-around sunglasses that meet Australian Standards for UV protection.
Free guidance material on fatigue management and working safely in the sun is available at www.safework.nsw.gov.au or by calling 13 10 50.