And why your bosses are powerless to stop you
- Some remote parts of Australia are tipped to reach an uncomfortable 46C (115F)
- Workers are within their rights to stop working if the mercury exceeds 35C (95F)
- Employers must provide water and look to reduce physical activity if possible
Australian tradesmen are being encouraged to take the rest of the week off work as a scorching heatwave hits the country.
New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory all experienced severely hot temperatures last week.
Despite a cool change over the weekend offering brief respite, the mercury is set to be turned up again, with highs of up to a roasting 46C (115F).
Tradies across Australia are encouraged to take the rest of the working week off as a heatwave approaches (stock image)
The extreme temperatures are expected to last until Australia Day on Saturday.
Workers have been advised they are within their rights to stop working if the mercury reaches 35C (95F) – and bosses are powerless to stop them.
The nationwide Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is telling its 100,00 plus members to avoid working in ‘dangerous’ heat.
‘Once the temperature reaches 35C (95) or a humidity level above 75 per cent, there will be an orderly cessation of work and preparations for safe completions of critical tasks currently underway,’ a guide produced by the union reads.
‘Work should be programmed in such a way as to reduce the risk of heat stress.
‘Sufficient numbers of workers should be engaged to allow rotation of workers in periods of heat.’
Employers will also be required to provide easy access to cool drinking water for workers, and to reduce physical activity where possible.
Australia’s beaches are set to humming this week ahead of the expected heatwave across the nation (pictured)
Bondi Beach is sure to attract thousands of beach goers the next few days due to Sydney’s heatwave (stock image)
‘In addition, rest breaks [to be provided] as needed by an individual. Individuals should not be discouraged from taking needed rest breaks,’ the CFMEU guide said.
‘Is it expected mandated breaks of ”smoko” and lunch be adhered to.’
An OHS Reps guide to working in the heat advises workers that employers are ‘expected to prevent your workplace being uncomfortably hot’.
‘Your employer has a duty of care under the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004) to provide a healthy and safe workplace,’ the guide reads.
’35C (95F) to 40C (104F) is considered to be the ‘limit of high temperature tolerance’ for most people.’
Four-day weather forecast
Wednesday: Max 29 (84F), shower or two
Thursday: Min 21 (70F), Max 27 (80F), cloudy
Friday: Min 21 (70F), Max 30 (86F), partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 23 (73F), Max 33 (91F), sunny
Wednesday: Max 25C (77F), becoming sunny
Thursday: Min 18 (64F), Max 38 (100F), hot humid, sunny afternoon
Friday: Min 27 (80F), Max 41 (106F), windy, afternoon cool change
Saturday: Min 19 (66F), Max 26 (79F), possible shower
Wednesday: Max 34 (93F), mostly sunny
Thursday: Min 23 (73F), Max 34 (93F), mostly sunny
Friday: Min 23 (73F), Max 32 (89F), partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 23 (73F), Max 33 (91F), partly cloudy
Wednesday: Max 34 (93F), shower or two, possible storm
Thursday: Min 16 (61F), Max 32 (89F), partly cloudy
Friday: Min 16 (61F), Max 38 (100F), hot and sunny
Saturday: Min 21 (70F), Max 39 (102F), hot partly, cloudy
Wednesday: Max 22 (71F), showers, windy
Thursday: Min 15 (59F), Max 23 (73F), shower or two clearing
Friday: Min 12 (54F), Max 26 (79F), sunny
Saturday: Min 14 (57F), Max 30 (86F), sunny
Wednesday: Max 40 (104F), very hot and sunny
Thursday: Min 28 (82F), Max 45 (113F), very hot sunny
Friday: Min 25C (77F), Max 33 (91F), partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 18 (64F), Max 30 (86F), partly cloudy
Wednesday: Max 19 (66F), partly cloudy
Thursday: Min 12 (54F),, Max 27 (80F), mostly sunny
Friday: Min 19 (66F), Max 34 (93F), hot, partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 17 (63F), Max 24 (75F), late shower or two
Wednesday: Max 31 (88F), rain, storm likely
Thursday: Min 24 (75F), Max 32 (89F), rain, storm likely
Friday: Min 25 C (77F), Max 33 (91F), shower or two, storm likely
Saturday: Min 25C (77F), Max 32 (89F), shower or two, storm likely
Source: Bureau of Meteorology