Heat safety and UV exposure in the workplace

Public news

With the warmer months fast approaching, now is the time to put in place preventative measures around the workshop to reduce the risk of illness from heat and UV exposure in your workplace.

A second year heavy vehicle apprentice recently started to feel ill and light headed in a workshop on a 36 degree day. He immediately reported it to the workshop supervisor who quickly provided him with first aid included hydration. The apprentice was then assessed by the local doctor as a precaution who advised that the apprentice suffered from dehydration and that no further treatment was required, certifying him fit to return to normal duties the next day.

It is great to see that the host employer acted promptly by initiating its own “Sun & Heat Safety Policy” which included the following actions:

Heat Safety:

  • Monitor workers if there have been three or more days over 35 degrees
  • Ensure workers are taking in adequate amounts of water
  • In situations of hotter than normal temperatures assign personnel a "buddy" to monitor each other
  • In extreme heat situations, assign regular breaks where possible based on workload
  • Have supplies of electrolyte replacement powders or fluids available
  • Monitor for advanced signs of heat exhaustion, such as: clammy skin, confusion, light‐headedness, fainting, vomiting, weakness, short temper, fatigue and loss of concentration.

  • To reduce the risk of Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke:

  • Place the person in a cool shady location
  • Open clothing
  • Wipe exposed skin with a damp cloth, towel etc at air temperature, not cold
  • If there is no air flow, create some
  • Give slow sips of water or electrolyte replacement fluid

  • The MTA is always focussed on safety in the workplace, whether it is hazard identification or early return to work and rehabilitation following a workplace incident. If you require any assistance in Return to Work, please contact Cos Lamberto WHS&RTW Coordinator by clicking here or by calling 8440 2628.