35° C, That’s Enough - CFMEU hot weather policy

Published: 21 Jan 2016

CFMEU EBAs state that workers will stop work and leave site when the temperature reaches 35 degrees.

Download OHS alert

The temperature is measured at the nearest Bureau of Meteorology weather station to the work site. For info see www.bom.gov.au/vic/observations/melbourne.shtml

Take Action

OHS reps should not wait until the temperature reaches 35° to act. Clause 35.9.2 of the EBA calls on reps to consult with management when the temperature is expected to reach 35° .

The agreement also states: At temperatures below 35°C workers are to be relocated out of direct sunlight where the work environment creates a serious risk to their health and safety.

Matters for consideration include:

  • Radiant heat from particular surfaces like bondeck, roofing etc.
  • Sun glare
  • The type of work being performed.

Employers must provide

  • Sun screen
  • Cool clear drinking water
  • Air-conditioned site sheds
  • Hard hat brims
  • Sunglasses where required

Healthy Work Tips for Hot Weather

  • Drink 100-200ml of water at regular intervals, do not allow yourself to become thirsty
  • Avoid drinking coffee, tea, alcohol and caffeinated soft drinks
  • Wear light coloured, loose clothing made of natural fibres wherever possible
  • Take regular breaks in a cool place.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your co-workers.

Signs and symptoms of heat illness include feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy or weak. Clumsiness, collapse and convulsions can also be the result of heat illness. Employees with these signs or symptoms need to seek immediate medical attention.

(Information from Worksafe Victoria and WA)