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Around a quarter of Australia's workforce are employed in jobs that may require working outdoors for at least some of the time.

Working in bad weather

If you work outside, you’re at risk of exposure to bad weather conditions including storms, wind, rain, and lightning. Your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to your health and safety caused by bad weather, including:

  • working indoors (where possible)
  • postponing outside work
  • providing access to shelter
  • securing structures and objects and turning power off, and
  • providing protective equipment, like eye protection.

Eliminating exposure to bad weather is the best protection.

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Working in sun

If you work outside, you’re at risk of exposure to ultra violet radiation from the sun, even when it’s cloudy.

Sun exposure can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the skin. Your workplace must have measures in place to prevent sun-related disease and injury, including:

  • working indoors (where possible)
  • working outside only during mornings and afternoons
  • providing shade and shelter, and
  • using sun protective clothing, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Eliminating exposure to ultra violet radiation is the best protection.

Find out more

Working in heat

If you work outside, you’re at risk of exposure to heat.

Working in heat can cause heat-related illness including fainting, heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Working in heat can also cause dehydration, burns, and can even reduce concentration and change the way your medications work.

Your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to your health and safety caused by working in heat, including:

  • working indoors (where possible)
  • postponing work or scheduling it for cooler parts of the day
  • using automated or remote-controlled equipment instead of manual labour
  • providing access to shelter
  • encouraging workers to drink water regularly
  • cooling the work area with fans or misters
  • scheduling frequent rests, and
  • providing personal protective equipment like hats.

Eliminating exposure to heat is the best protection.

Find out more

Working in cold

If you work outside, you may be at risk of exposure to extreme cold.

Prolonged exposure to cold can result in hypothermia, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Your workplace must have measures in place manage the risks to your health and safety cause by exposure to cold weather, including:

  • providing heating, for example cab heaters
  • providing protection, such as a hut or the cabin of a vehicle
  • providing warm and waterproof clothing, and
  • enabling workers who are not used to working in cold conditions to acclimatise.

Eliminating exposure to cold is the best protection.

Find out more

Further advice

For guidance specific to your industry and workplace contact your state or territory work health and safety authority.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Friday 25 May 2018 [9331|73121]