6 November 2018 / Safety Alert

Working in Hot Conditions

Awareness, education and preparedness are the key factors in recognising and countering the potential risk to health of workers when working in hot environments.

What is Heat Related Illness?

Heat related illnesses occur when heat builds up in the body faster than the body can lose it. Excess body heat can occur when a person is exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity, and when generated from exertion or physical activity.

Factors that may contribute to heat related illnesses:

  • the temperature/humidity and movement of the surrounding air
  • the type and duration of work activity
  • an persons physical condition, in particular when not acclimatised to conditions and/or activity
  • insufficient hydration
  • medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes) and some medications and substances.

How do we recognise the symptoms?

Heat related illness can range from mild heat rash or cramps through to heat exhaustion.

Some of the key warning signs include:

  • muscles spasms or cramps
  • heavy sweating in the early stages, and in the latter stages no sweating at all
  • abnormal displays of confusion
  • slurred speech
  • blurred vision dizziness or fainting.

What can we do about it?

Reducing the onset of a heat related illness can be achieved by applying the following considerations;

  • rescheduling work so the hot tasks are performed during the cooler part of the day;
  • where possible, reducing the time spent doing hot tasks (for example, by job rotation);
  • where possible, arranging for more Workers to do the job;
  • providing extra rest breaks in a cool area;
  • providing cool drinking water and ice (machines) near the work site.
  • increasing air movement by fans or coolers
  • installing shade cloth to reduce radiant heat from the sun
  • giving consideration to working an eight hour day
  • Educating Workers with respect to hydration and heat and fatigue management.

The following ‘Hydration Chart’ is a quick and easy way for workers to monitor their hydration level as one process in the steps to avoiding heat related illness. These Hydration Charts should be placed in site toilet and other prominent locations as prompts for all workers.

Outcome

Through the application of this safety alert workers should be able to monitor themselves and their mates whilst working in hot conditions and avoid unnecessary injury or illness as a result of the hot weather conditions.

What do we do in Extreme Hot Weather

Where the temperature reaches 35oC there will be an orderly cessation of work and preparations for the safe completion of critical task that are underway and/or applicable modifications to the workload.

Where the temperature is 28oC and the relative humidity is 75% or more after three hours from the commencement of a shift there will be an orderly cessation of work and preparations for the safe completion of critical task that are underway and/or applicable modifications to the workload.

If there are areas of the workplace that are below these climatic conditions work shall continue as normal in those areas. Employees unable to work elsewhere may be transferred to these areas if work is available. Employees may walk a reasonable distance through the open to and from amenities, provided it does not pose an imminent risk to their health or safety. The primary objective is to ensure that there is no reasonable concern for risk to the health or safety of an Employee undertaking the work.

The onset of these climatic conditions is the trigger to implement Heat Management controls and to redeploy workers to other areas of the site that is not impacted to the extent of the temperature and humidity guidelines. Extreme hot weather shall be measured on site by a temperature gauge which is compliant to the relevant Australian Standards and shall be undertaken in accordance with the manufacturers operating instructions and/or BOM weather station. There are a number of appropriate temperature gauges that meet this criteria, of which the Wet Bulb device is one.

Hydration Chart

Heat Stroke

Problem

Heat Stroke is a medical emergency situation. Symptoms may include fatigue, confusion, and lack of strength, visual disturbances, aggressiveness, convulsing and unconsciousness.

Response

Call an ambulance and apply urgent first aid. Remove outer clothing, wet the skin and move patient to a cool/air-conditioned space.

Heat Exhaustion

Problem

Heat exhaustion can occur over a several days and be characterised by a progressive decline in work performance, lack of appetite, headaches, cold clammy pale skin, rapid weak pulse, and nausea and vomiting. The patient may be weak and could collapse.

Response

Stop exertion, lay person in the shade, remove outer clothing, provide cool water and move to air-conditioned space If symptoms are severe or do not improve, seek medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Problem

Painful muscle cramps of the limbs and/or abdomen, twitching, tingling or pins and needles in the hands and feet. Heat Cramps may be due to dehydration and/or an electrolyte imbalance.

Response

Stop exertion and rest quietly in a cool place. Increase fluid intake using cool water. Remove outer clothing (e.g. hard hat, boots, and shirt) and move to an air-conditioned space.

Other Recent Activities

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10 September / Quality

A new secondary area called Facade Replacement Works has been added to the Doc Library under Quality & Defects located here. It contains documents created by the FRW Team to be used on all re-clad projects. The templates can be edited to be made project specific dependent on individual project requirements.

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9 September / Update

Hutchies' full signage catalogue is now available to download in PDF. This has all of our new artwork options, which can be ordered now from our signage supplier Civic Media.

We're in the process of building a new online ordering system for signage to make it easier and to include our whole catalogue. The trial system unfortunately hasn't met our expectations and only contains basic signage for online ordering.  

In the meantime, anything in this PDF catalogue can be ordered directly via our account manager at Civic Media. 

Chelsea O'Neill
Phone +61 7 3821 7326
Mobile +61 478 937 534
Email chelsea.o@civicmedia.com.au

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9 September / Meetings

Monday 9 September 2019

Please participate in Monday’s meetings if possible.

8.00am / Site Managers / Foremen / Leading Hands / Apprentices

Held in Toowong training room and video conference from offices via Surface Hubs and Polycoms.

3.00pm / All Project Managers and Contract Administrators

Regions to join via video conference in each office, individuals out of the various offices to join by the usual teleconference facilities (details can be downloaded below). All Hutchies’ project related people from office or site are encouraged to participate.

5.00pm Dumplings and a beer / Brisbane only

It would be great if all could participate.

Remember to mute your line by entering *6 - to unmute, enter #6

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29 August / Update

On 27 August 2019 Hutchies’ Code Compliant Enterprise Agreement (EA) for Queensland and NT was approved by the Fair Work Commission. It was developed with the CFMEU and it will apply to all Workers and projects in Queensland and NT from Tuesday 3 September, (being 7 days after the approval date).

As discussed at the recent Code compliance training sessions, the changes required to the EA to make it compliant with Building Code 2016 require some adjustments to how Hutchies manages some of the day to day operational aspects of our projects.

We will continue to run training sessions over the coming weeks and months to ensure all Hutchies’ people are aware of our obligations and we will also be completing audits on projects across Queensland and the Northern Territory. In the meantime, please take some time to read and understand the updated Site Management Industrial Relations Handbook and to complete a self audit for your project(s) by 5pm Tuesday 3 September 2019 as detailed below.

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29 August / Update

As discussed during our recent Key Principles introduction session, Hutchies is committed to compliance with the Federal Government’s Building Code.

The Building Code establishes a set of industry standards applicable to workplace relations, health and safety and procurement in the building and construction industry and all builders and subcontractors who undertake Federal Government funded projects must comply.

The current Code is Building Code 2016 and it applies to all projects tendered after 2 December 2016 – this means it applies to all Hutchies’ projects nationally.

As part of Hutchies’ ongoing compliance obligations we have recently modified some of our policies and procedures which have been reflected in updated resources now available on the Document Library.

The updated materials are the subject of a national training programme that is currently being rolled out to all Teams as part of the Key Principles training agenda.

Please take the time to participate when you are invited to one of these sessions. While awaiting state specific training for your Team, please take some time to read and understand the updated Site Management Industrial Relations Handbook and complete a self audit on your project(s) by Friday 6 September 2019.

View More
29 August / Update

As discussed during our recent Key Principles introduction session, Hutchies is committed to compliance with the Federal Government’s Building Code.

The Building Code establishes a set of industry standards applicable to workplace relations, health and safety and procurement in the building and construction industry and all builders and subcontractors who undertake Federal Government funded projects must comply.

The current Code is Building Code 2016 and it applies to all projects tendered after 2 December 2016 – this means it applies to all Hutchies’ projects nationally.

As part of Hutchies’ ongoing compliance obligations we have recently modified some of our policies and procedures which have been reflected in updated resources now available on the Document Library.

The updated materials are the subject of a national training programme that is currently being rolled out to all Teams as part of the Key Principles training agenda.

Please take the time to participate when you are invited to one of these sessions. While awaiting state specific training for your Team, please take some time to read and understand the updated Site Management Industrial Relations Handbook and complete a self audit on your project(s) by Friday 6 September 2019.

View More
29 August / Update

As discussed during our recent Key Principles introduction session, Hutchies is committed to compliance with the Federal Government’s Building Code.

The Building Code establishes a set of industry standards applicable to workplace relations, health and safety and procurement in the building and construction industry and all builders and subcontractors who undertake Federal Government funded projects must comply.

The current Code is Building Code 2016 and it applies to all projects tendered after 2 December 2016 – this means it applies to all Hutchies’ projects nationally.

As part of Hutchies’ ongoing compliance obligations we have recently modified some of our policies and procedures which have been reflected in updated resources now available on the Document Library.

The updated materials are the subject of a national training programme that is currently being rolled out to all Teams as part of the Key Principles training agenda.

Please take the time to participate when you are invited to one of these sessions. While awaiting state specific training for your Team, please take some time to read and understand the updated Site Management Industrial Relations Handbook and complete a self audit on your project(s) by Friday 6 September 2019.

View More
29 August / Update

As discussed during our recent Key Principles introduction session, Hutchies is committed to compliance with the Federal Government’s Building Code.

The Building Code establishes a set of industry standards applicable to workplace relations, health and safety and procurement in the building and construction industry and all builders and subcontractors who undertake Federal Government funded projects must comply.

The current Code is Building Code 2016 and it applies to all projects tendered after 2 December 2016 – this means it applies to all Hutchies’ projects nationally.

As part of Hutchies’ ongoing compliance obligations we have recently modified some of our policies and procedures which have been reflected in updated resources now available on the Document Library.

The updated materials are the subject of a national training programme that is currently being rolled out to all Teams as part of the Key Principles training agenda.

Please take the time to participate when you are invited to one of these sessions. While awaiting state specific training for your Team, please take some time to read and understand the updated Site Management Industrial Relations Handbook and complete a self audit on your project(s) by Friday 6 September 2019.

View More
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30 August / Public Holiday

Friday 30 August 2019

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