Working in extreme temperatures

Being sun smart is something we Kiwis have been practicing for decades now, avoiding the high levels of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. We are well schooled in skin cancers caused by overexposure to the sun, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to give the team a small reminder about Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap when working in heat. But did you know WorkSafe provides good practice guidelines for working in extreme temperatures.

Extremely hot environments can lead to illness or injury, so it is important to identify, control and monitor those risks.

Nine quick fixes are aimed at helping your team while working in the heat:

– Where practicable install insulation and heat screens for people working around heat-producing machinery

– Turn on air-conditioning units, install ventilation and use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture

– Where practicable provide mechanical aids to reduce worker effort provide protection from the sun if working outdoors

– Where practicable reschedule work for cooler times of the day

– Provide extra breaks to cool down or rotate tasks between workers to allow time in the shade or with less strenuous work

– Maintain hydration

– Workplace monitoring of temperature and humidity levels to ensure safe levels are not exceeded

– Health monitoring – check your team are fit and healthy enough for working in the heat

– Provide health and safety training on how to keep healthy and safe when working in extreme heat

  • on March 3, 2021