Working in heat – still contentious

Australians associate working in hot conditions as outside work although the occupational hazard of heat is just as relevant in bakeries and foundries.  OHS regulators and safety lobbyists often try to include too much in their heat-related strategies – heat stress, skin cancer, hydration, dust, and a range of other hazard combinations related to specific … Continue reading “Working in heat – still contentious”

Extreme heat

Global warming is affecting how we work just as much as how we live. Working in Heat policies are designed based on experience rather than meteorological and climate forecasts, meaning these documents are always chasing reality and not getting ahead of the occupational hazard. On January 19, 2023, Steven Greenhouse (coincidental name) looked at the …

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New air quality standards for outdoor work

On January 30 2020, the Victorian Trades Hall released a new “approved safety standard” on air quality risks for outdoor workers. It is the latest of a series of alerts and guidelines generated by the persistence of bushfire smoke in urban areas of, especially, New South Wales and Victoria. Bushfire smoke is only going to …

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Instead of throwing stones, build a stronger house

On 19 December 2019, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) issued a confusing and, ostensibly, three-paragraph media release about working in heat, a hazard that has been regularly analysed by SafetyAtWorkBlog. It states: “OHS laws which are designed to keep workers safe at work need to be updated to deal with the reality of … Continue reading “Instead of throwing stones, build a stronger house”

Comprehensive info on preventing skin cancer risks

Unrelated to the article earlier today about working in extreme heat, last week Australia’s Cancer Council released an occupational health and safety (OHS) guide for working outdoors and to prevent and avoid skin cancer. It is a timely release for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as it allows us several months to review …

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Health, safety and climate change

In a small article on the ABC news site, Professor Peng Bi of the University of Adelaide said occupational health and safety laws needed a review to accommodate the changing climate and “I reckon some regulations should be set up to get employers to pay [fresh] attention to the occupational health and safety of their employees…” Contrary …

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Sniping in social media raises issues about hydration

A spat has recently emerged on one of the safety discussion forums in Linkedin.  The catalyst was a statement that “60% of every Australian worker turns up for work unfit due to De-hydration“ The source of this data, not disclosed at the time of the original post, was a company that sells “…a great tasting, … Continue reading “Sniping in social media raises issues about hydration”