Bushfires and air pollution

Workplaces must have measures in place to protect worker health and safety and manage risks.

Working in air pollution

Check your jurisdiction’s air quality index to determine the air quality where you’re working. If you have an air pollution sensitivity, particularly if combined with an underlying medical condition, you should advise your workplace and follow the advice of your GP or specialist physician.

Dust and smoke may:

  • reduce air quality and impact visibility
  • settle onto equipment and impact the functioning of plant and grip of surfaces, and
  • irritate the airway, nose and eyes.

Your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to health and safety when air quality is reduced, including:

  • working indoors (where possible)
  • rescheduling outdoor work until conditions (e.g. visibility and air quality) improve​
  • ensuring plant is functioning correctly and has not been affected by dust or debris
  • cleaning any dust and debris off outdoor surfaces, and
  • providing personal protective equipment such as eye protection and correctly fitted, P2 rated face masks.

Eliminating exposure to air pollution is the best protection.

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