16 Jan TAKE MEASURES TO PREVENT HEAT FATIGUE
As summer temperatures rise, employers are reminded to take measures to prevent fatigue caused by working outdoors. Businesses must protect workers from the ultra violet (UV) radiation in sunlight and reduce the hazards associated with working in hot and sunny environments.
Long working hours in the sun can increase the likelihood of fatigue-related injuries. Fatigue and heat-stress can affect a worker’s health, reducing their performance and productivity, and increasing the chance of workplace injury through reduced ability to concentrate, recognise risks and communicate effectively.
It is recommends employers take the following actions to reduce workers’ exposure to UV radiation and prevent fatigue:
- 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;
- 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+);
– sunglasses that meet Australian Standards for UV protection.
- use plant, machinery and equipment to eliminate or reduce the excessive physical demands of the job.