When it comes to hot weather, workplaces don’t have to be below a specific temperature but employers have to ensure they provide a healthy and safe work environment.
During hot weather employers should allow greater flexibility within the workplace to minimise the effects of extreme heat on workers.
Check with your SDA Delegate or Health & Safety Rep to find out if your company has a Heat Policy.
Heat is exacerbated by:
• Amount of air movement.
• Radiation of heat from surroundings e.g. brick walls, cement.
Things your employer can do to reduce heat stress:
• Reduce the rate of work.
• Reduce the workload.
• Find lighter alternative duties.
• Rotate employees working in heat.
• Relax uniform policies e.g. not having to wear a jacket or apron.
• Increase the number of breaks.
• Allow water at or near your work station.
• Provide portable fans.
• Shield sources of heat e.g. having blinds/curtains drawn over windows.
What Can You Do?
• Where possible try not to work near heat sources e.g. windows, machinery or unshaded outdoor areas.
• Rest in the coolest available place.
• Drink cool (not cold) fluids.
• Check your company’s heat policy.
• Speak to the SDA about your working conditions.
Call the SDA for confidential advice regarding heat stress.