QLD’s Industrial Relations Minister has stressed the importance of employers ensuring their workers are protected from the sun and heat now that summer has arrived.
Cameron Dick said the start of summer meant many workers faced heat-related risks while at work.
He said Queensland’s workplace health and safety laws obliged employers to provide protection from the heat and sun for employees who worked outside.
“Weather forecasters may be predicting a relatively mild summer season but for many people who work outdoors, the exposure to heat and sun can still pose a significant health and safety risk,” Mr Dick said.
Mr Dick said hot conditions could lead to heat-related health problems such as cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke, prickly heat and fainting.
“Employers should weigh up all factors such as heat, humidity, water intake, breezes, protective gear, the condition of workers, hours of work and the like,” he said.
“Queensland has a harsh summer environment, particularly in the tropics and the outback. Working smart and working cool can save lives.”
Workers most at risk of heat-related illness and skin cancer include: building and construction industry workers; gardeners and ground maintenance staff; fishing industry workers; lifeguards; outdoor council workers; police officers; road workers; and rural workers.
For information on how to keep workers safe from heat stress and sun exposure visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or call the Workplace Health and Safety Infoline on 1300 369 915.