The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting warmer than average temperatures across Australia this summer, bringing an increased risk of drought, heatwaves and bushfires.

This sort of extreme weather can affect businesses from across a range of sectors. Make sure you have plans in place to manage the heat and understand your obligations in the event of an emergency.

Plan ahead

There are a few things you can do now to make sure you’re prepared, such as:

  • developing an emergency management plan 
  • checking your fire alarm systems, fire sprinklers and fire equipment
  • running through your evacuation procedures and display it where everyone can see it
  • creating an emergency kit and first-aid kit
  • planning for power outages
  • updating your insurance policies
  • checking you have the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms for working in extreme heat
  • updating your list of emergency and employee contact numbers
  • storing your important documents securely and having backup copies stored off-site
  • identifying, assessing and controlling risks that come with extreme weather conditions
  • preparing communication templates (emails, text messages or signage) to use if you need to communicate to employee or customers about changes or temporary closures to your business
  • updating your business continuity plan
  • checking that your Australian Business Number (ABN) details are up-to-date on the Australian Business Register, as emergency services and government agencies use this information to identify businesses that may need help and support during emergencies.

It's important to remember, in an emergency your priority is the safety of you and your employees. Then you can look at protecting your business and assets.

Working in heat

Under work health and safety laws, as a business owner you have a duty to keep your employees safe when working in extreme heat. Working is heat can put you and your employees at risk of heat-related illness.

During summer, check the Bureau of Meteorology for the temperature and weather warnings in your area.

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