Don’t risk your health when working outdoors
The air quality index in parts of Sydney and the Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra area is poor due to the bushfires. Real-time information can be found at The World Air Quality Project.
Employers should be providing P2 masks to all outdoor workers which are the only mask that can filter out a meaningful level of air pollution.
Employers should also be providing alternative duties to any outdoor worker whose health may be adversely affected by the current level of air pollution, including people with pre-existing health issues such as asthma and other lung or heart conditions.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald Australian Services Union NSW secretary Natalie Lang said the union had contacted Sydney Water and had received no response in relation to the impact on outdoor workers, including civil maintenance staff, of ongoing pollution levels.
Under the Workplace Health and Safety Act, you are entitled to cease work if working in the current level of air pollution poses a serious risk to your health or safety. If you cease work in these circumstances, you must advise your supervisor, team leader or another person in authority and remain available to carry out suitable alternative work.
If you require advice or support about working in air pollution, please contact the ASU Industrial Services Team on 02 9310 4000.