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

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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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”

What does the IPCC report on climate change say about work?

Global warming will affect the way we work.  This was acknowledged in the most recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change.  The 3,676-page report cited several research papers related to these changes.  Below is a list of those papers and comments on the abstracts, where available. Vanos, J., D. J. Vecellio and T. …

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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”