Heat stress at school

Sun on blackboard

Temperatures are continuing to soar around Queensland this summer as teachers and students prepare to start back for the year.

Employers need to be mindful of their workers’ safety during hot weather and there are some precautions that can be taken to limit the incidence of heat stress.

  • Teach workers to recognise the symptoms of heat stress, such as fainting, exhaustion, confusion, agitation, cramps, headache, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, and rashes.
  • Use fans or air conditioning to increase air flow.
  • Erect shade cloth or provide a shady spot to sit to reduce heat in outdoor areas.
  • Provide regular rest and drink breaks with water that is room temperature or slightly cool rather than very cold.
  • Encourage workers to stay hydrated throughout the day and to wear suitable clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses when outside.
  • Modify or postpone any outdoor or sporting activities where appropriate.
  • Increase access to the coolest areas of the school ground or facilities for lessons or other activities.
  • Ensure first aid procedures are in place in the event of a student or staff member becoming heat-stressed.

Employers should identify and minimise any risks in the workplace so it helps to perform a risk assessment and prepare a strategy in advance to be ready for high temperatures in summer.

For more information on managing excessive heat in schools, visit the Education Queensland website.

You can also learn more about the signs, treatment and prevention of heat-related illness on the Queensland Health website.

Last updated
12 July 2016