“Businesses of course have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees. However, the ACTU’s call for WHS regulations and codes about excessive heat and air particles need to go through the established WHS consultation channels,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.
“Hot temperatures and bushfires are not new in Australia, and there are existing WHS regulations and codes that address these issues. For example, Safe Work Australia publishes a Guide for managing the risks of working in heat and guidance materials for Working outside, and on air pollution.
“It is inappropriate for unions to use the current bushfires to push industrial claims. Changes to Federal and State WHS codes need to be based on expert advice and analysis, and appropriate consultation with industry and employee representatives.
“The risks to the economy and to jobs of overreacting to current conditions are immense,” Mr Willox said.