Safety inside and outside the workplace

Posted by Pia Abrahams on

Graphic banner from Safe Work Australia promoting the fourth week of National Safe Work Month 2021 which focuses on safety inside and outside workplaces.

The health and safety of Australian workers must be protected wherever they’re working.

Worker safety inside and out is the key focus of the fourth week of Safe Work Australia’s National Safe Work Month. It’s part of the “Think safe, work safe, be safe” theme for 2021.

Brenniston is a 100% Australian-owned family business and the leader in Australian-made workplace first aid. We’re proud to support this important campaign to increase the visibility and effectiveness of workplace health and safety for all Australian workers. Safer workers mean better business.

Under work health and safety (WHS) laws, Australian businesses have a duty to protect workers from hazards and risks in the workplace whether working inside under cover or outside with shifting climatic conditions and other dangers.

Safe Work Australia has produced a range of helpful resources to help businesses and workers understand their WHS responsibilities, identify risks and manage control measures to reduce the risks.

Resources include information sheets, social media tiles, infographics and posters for organisations and workers to spread awareness of workplace safety inside and out.

National Safe Work Month 2021 - Workplace safety inside and out

Anything in the design or management of work with the potential to cause injury to workers is a workplace hazard.

No matter where you work – in an office, in a car, inside or outside – all workplaces have potential health and safety hazards that need to be managed.

Businesses must implement work health and safety control measures to identify hazards and monitor and control risks to keep workers safe.

National Safe Work Month 2021 - Working outside

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

Workplace hazards to consider when working outside include:

  • Working in bad weather
  • Working in sun
  • Working in heat
  • Working in cold
  • Working in air pollution
  • Working near bushfires
  • Working where dangerous animals or insects may be present
  • Unsafe work processes

National Safe Work Month 2021 - Managing heat risks in your workplace

Workers working outside are at risk of exposure to heat.

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

  • Risk factors to consider when working in heat include:
  • Working in the hottest time of day and/or season
  • Hot ambient conditions can contribute to heat-related illness and burns
  • Heatwaves at night can make it harder to sleep and workers may become fatigued
  • High humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself
  • Working in hot conditions for long periods of time is very dangerous
  • Intense work makes it harder for the body to lose heat
  • Workers wearing hot clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Clothing can prevent the evaporation of sweat or prevent air movement
  • Unqualified, untrained and inexperienced workers may be less aware of the hazards, health effects and controls
  • Workers with medical conditions can be less able to cope with heat
  • Accessibility to hydration

Your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to your health and safety caused by working in hot conditions. These include:

  • Working in a cooler indoor environment 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
  • Providing personal protective equipment like hats and sunscreen
  • Providing first aid supplies for snake, insect or animal bites or stings


Safe Work Australia: Inside and out