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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Can this job be performed in extreme heat?

Parts of Europe are sweltering in extreme Summer temperatures similar to what Australian workers have experienced. A comparison of just temperatures is unreasonable as the European challenge is greater than Australia’s because the society, buildings and operational structures are largely designed and configured for low temperatures and snow. In many ways climate change will be …

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Heat and the need to change work

Europe is experiencing heat at, or close to, levels never recorded before. This has caused the mainstream media to issue advice on how to avoid adverse health impacts from heat exposure. However, the necessary changes to work are not receiving the attention they should. Australia has faced such situations before, especially in the last decade, … Continue reading “Heat and the need to change work”

Heat

The occupational risks of exposure to excessive heat have usually been assessed in remote locations in Australia, and almost exclusively for outdoor workers. The changing environmental conditions, regardless of the global cause, are changing the risk assessment of heat for outdoor workers and, increasingly, indoor workers such as those in food production or kitchens. Recently …

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Heat stress (in the middle of Winter)

For those in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment, the risk of heat stress for workers is an extremely low priority but in Australia, even in the cooler parts and suburbia, the Summer temperatures are tipped to reach 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next few weeks.  Away from the urban and coastal … Continue reading “Heat stress (in the middle of Winter)”

Summer heat, fatigue and UV – a speculative solution

Let’s pull together several workplace hazards and suggest one control measure that may address all of them at once.  Of course, the control may generate other work hazards or management challenges. In Summer, work occurs throughout daylight hours.  The long days, and possibly daylight savings, maximise the window of productivity for workers, particularly those who … Continue reading “Summer heat, fatigue and UV – a speculative solution”

Will firewalking become the norm?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) will have little effect on reducing the pace of global warming. Still, OHS will definitely need to assist in changing how we continue to work in future weather extremes. SafetyAtWorkBlog has previously written about working in extreme heat, but a new multimedia report from the New York Times (paywalled) illustrates …

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