Is there a maximum temperature at which workers should stop?
The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulation 2011 requires your employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that:
- workers working in extremes of heat or cold are able to carry out their work without risk to their health and safety
The WHS legislation does not state a precise temperature at which workers should stop work. This is because the effects of exposure to heat depend on a number of factors – not just the temperature. These other factors include:
- air temperature (how hot the air around us is)
- humidity (the moisture content of the air)
- amount of air movement or wind speed
- radiant temperature of surroundings either from the sun or other sources including furnaces, ovens and working under a metal roof
- clothing being worn including protective clothing such as overalls, coveralls and suits worn during insecticide spraying
- type of the physical activity being done and the length of time it is done for
- physical fitness of the worker, including whether a worker is used to working in a hot environment or has any pre-existing conditions - eg overweight, heart/circulatory diseases, skin diseases or use of certain medicines.