Employers have a WHS obligation to allow workers access to toilet and drinking facilities and cannot restrict such access to scheduled breaks, the Federal Court has confirmed in finding a major employer misled young workers on this issue in a Facebook post.
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An employer unlawfully discriminated against an older worker in refusing to engage him for work in a hot environment, with its manager likening the proposed labour-hire arrangement to sending "your dad or granddad" into high-risk conditions, a court has found.
In a timely study, with bushfires continuing to burn across many parts of Australia, researchers have identified a method of stabilising core temperatures among firefighters to prevent heat-related illnesses, which can be applied to other hot jobs.
Australian guidance dealing with heat stroke in the workplace is missing the "golden standard" treatment, with potentially alarming implications for the health of workers, according to a workplace heat stress expert.
Safe Work Australia members have agreed to start transitioning to a new chemical safety system within six months, while SWA has released a practical guide to managing ultraviolet radiation risks and a 60-page workers' comp report, and a WHS regulator has outlined safety duties relating to poor air quality.
A company and its director have been fined a total of $175,000 for dangerous goods offences uncovered by police investigating a burglary. Meanwhile, the ACTU has issued heat and smoke alerts and called for WHS laws that "deal with the reality of climate change".
A full Federal Court has quashed a company's $181,000 shared-liability award, averting a situation where employers that aren't liable for an injury under workers' comp laws could be stung with a hefty contribution bill.
A leading workplace heat stress consultant has warned of the effects of "heat hangover", which causes workers in warm workplaces to experience the same symptoms they would after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, and could account for the spike in incidents during hotter months.