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Managing WHS Risks – Working in Inclement Weather


Persons Conducting Business and Undertaking (PCBUs) are reminded of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety laws to manage the risks at the workplace where the workers are required to work in extreme weather. Working in extreme weather conditions can expose workers to significant health and safety risks. Extreme weather includes heavy rain, storms, hail, extreme heat, strong wind, high pollen or dust, and high UV index.

PCBUs should have a work health and safety management system, which includes how they identify and manage extreme weather conditions in the workplace. PCBUs are reminded of their obligation to consult with the workers and any other duty holders, including their health and safety representatives (if any) whilst assessing the risks of working in extreme weather conditions.

In assessing the risks, PCBUs should use the 4-step risk assessment process, which is:

  1. Identify hazards – find out what could cause harm.
  2. Assess risks – understand the nature of the harm, the hazard could cause, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. This step may not be necessary if the risks and controls are known.
  3. Control risks – implement the most effective control measures by using the hierarchy of controls.
  4. Review – regularly review control measures to ensure they are working effectively and make changes as required.

If you have any questions in relation to your work health and safety obligations, please reach out to our Workplace Relations and Legal team on (02) 6175 5900.