Be heat vigilant this summer
Extreme heat can be harmful to workers’ health and wellbeing, so employers and their employees should be be extra vigilant in the summer months.
From 2009–10 to 2018–19 there were 1,774 accepted workers compensation claims in Australia that resulted from working in hot temperatures, according to Safe Work Australia. This includes claims from working in the sun as well as in hot indoor conditions.1
How businesses can manage their risk
It is important for businesses to have clear plans in place for managing the risks of hot working environments. To assist, Safe Work Australia has developed guidance material which includes how to identify and assess heat hazards, as well as controls that can be applied.2
Workers in extremely hot environments can lose up to a litre of fluid every hour and it is vital they replace it. Those suspected of having heat stroke must be treated immediately by a medical professional. While waiting for that treatment, they should be cooled down as quickly as possible. Methods for doing so can include soaking clothing in cold water and increasing air movement with fanning until medical help is available3.
“Apart from the serious medical concerns arising from heat stroke, the effects of extreme or sustained heat can seriously affect a worker’s concentration levels, and the consequences of this can also be very serious,” said Darren Kavanagh, Commissioner of Worksafe WA3. “Guarding against heat stress and heat stroke is part of providing a safe and healthy workplace, and I urge employers to ensure that preventative measures are in place.”
Ensure you’re covered
If you’re responsible for the wellbeing of workers, or you represent someone who is, you may be required to have Workers Compensation Insurance in place.
GIO can offer Workers Compensation Insurance for businesses in Western Australian, Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania. You’ll also receive support services for your business, including risk management and training courses. For more information please get in touch.
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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. In NSW, GIO manages claims as agent for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer ABN 83 564 379 108, also known as icare workers insurance. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.