Tennis heat rules are ineffective and out of step with safety guidance – play should stop

Andy Murray fears ‘inhumane’ heat at Australian Open could kill someone

The heat policy is doing nothing.  At 11am today 16 January 2013 these are the weather conditions at the Australian Open Tennis(1):

Ambient = 38 degrees C.  WBGT = 32 degrees C.

At WBGT 26 degrees C Sports Medicine Australia say to “limit intensity, take more breaks”.

At 30C WBGT Sports Medicine Australia say to “Consider postponement to a cooler part of the day or cancellation”.

The US OSHA rules say to have 25% rest at 26C and at 30C to have 75% rest.  It’s above that already at 11am. (3)

But the tennis goes on.

The heat policy is pointless.  The average maximum temperature in Melbourne in January is 26 degrees C.  If the policy does nothing in record breaking heat, what is it’s purpose?

(1) From the Bureau of Meteorology at the Olympic Park station (350m from the tennis)

(2) Sports Medicine Australia

(3) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US)

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About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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