Smoke from fires across the state has created poor air quality in many areas. This, coupled with the extreme heatwave forecasted for NSW this week, has the NSW Department of Health advising people to take extra precautions. Follow this link to the Health Department’s 18 December Health alert
If you are experiencing health issues at work please advise your manager or supervisor, log a WHS incident report, and if you are unable to continue working, go home or go to your doctor if necessary. In an emergency, dial 000.
Please contact the PSA on 1300 772 679 for assistance if you are experiencing issues in your workplace as a consequence of the current environmental conditions and the employer is not managing the situation, for example offering flexible work arrangements to enable workers to temporarily work from another location.
All workers have the right to cease unsafe work if they are concerned that continuing the work puts them at serious risk of harm.
84 Right of worker to cease unsafe work
A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker has a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious risk to the worker’s health or safety, emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.
85 Health and safety representative may direct that unsafe work cease
(1) A health and safety representative may direct a worker who is in a work group represented by the representative to cease work if the representative has a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious risk to the worker’s health or safety, emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.
** HSRs – Please refer to the WHS Act for further important provisions
For further information see:
Department of Health https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/air/Pages/default.aspx
NSW Air Quality website www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/aqi.htm
SafeWork NSW website https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/working-in-extreme-heat
Workers can also contact SafeWork NSW on 131050 and request urgent assistance from an inspector.