With the warm summer months now upon us, it’s important to review your work practices to ensure your employees are staying safe in the heat, particularly if your business involves working outdoors.
Heat illness is a common but avoidable condition that affects employees working in heat-related settings, such as under direct sunlight or in contact with machinery that runs hot.
The range of medical issues that can arise from heat illness include fainting, heat stroke, cramps and fatigue.
When an individual has been affected by heat illness, they risk a higher chance of making mistakes and injuring themselves or others while at work.
Avoiding heat illness is important for minimising risk of accidents in your workplace.
Under occupational health and safety legislation, as an employer you are obliged to provide a safe working environment, machinery and equipment.
Additionally, adequate training and information on safe work practices should be a key priority for avoiding accidents in your organisation.
Identifying the early signs of heat illness will help employees know when to take breaks and remove themselves from dangerous situations.
Temperature-induced stress on the body may cause headaches, nausea, a loss of concentration and feeling weak.
Employees should have adequate access to shade, frequent breaks and plenty of drinking water so when these symptoms arise, they can take precautionary measures against heat illness.
To avoid the risk of temperature-related illness, outdoor work should be completed during the cooler parts of the day when possible.
Those who work with heat-radiating machinery will need to wear suitable personal protective equipment and take more frequent breaks.
If your organisation involves working outside or near machinery that runs hot, you may want consider your business insurance options.
The team at MGA Insurance can arrange Workers Compensation (in certain states) & liability policies to ensure your business is covered if an employee sustains a heat-related illness or injury, or you are held responsible for injuring a third party.