New South Wales is bracing itself for some hot weather, and the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales is urging business owners to spare a thought for the safety of their workers.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that some areas in New South Wales will see temperatures reaching 30 degrees over the next couple of days.

John Watson, general manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, said in an October 9 statement that businesses and employees working in “heat-related conditions” need to stay vigilant about minimising risk of accidents.

He said that fatigue and heat-stress can “affect a worker’s health, reducing their performance and productivity”.

These conditions can also increase your employees’ chances of injuring themselves at work, as they are associated with reducing people’s ability to communicate in an effective way, concentrate and identify risks.

In the year to June 2011, a total of 497 people in Australia were killed because of fatigue and heat-stress.

Mr Watson suggested that, if possible, businesses in New South Wales should reschedule tasks so they can be completed at cooler times of the day. He also said that your employees should have access to shade, frequent breaks and plenty of drinking water.

In addition to this, if you would like to make sure your business is covered if an employee is injured while at work, or you are held responsible for injuring a third party, you may want to consider your small business insurance options.

MGA Insurance Brokers has been helping Australian businesses in a variety of sectors, from retail to manufacturing, organise insurance packages for a number of years.

We can help you make informed decisions about what kind of retail or manufacturing insurance cover to get, as well as advise you about possible risk management strategies – which could reduce your insurance premiums.