News & Views

When temperatures rise!

LC
BY Lee Craig
Health & Safety

While a period of hot weather is always welcomed in the UK, for some the heat brings other issues, particularly for those who have to work in it.

In the UK there is no maximum temperature for working, with health and safety law requiring that “during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.”

How we define reasonable will depend on the type of work being carried out (sedentary, physically demanding etc.) and the type of workplace.

Employers should adopt a range of responses to hot weather and workplaces including:-

  • Use of air-conditioning systems; providing fans etc.
  • Providing blinds and curtains on south facing windows
  • Providing appropriate clothing and sun screen for outdoor workers
  • Ensuring there is a ready supply of drinking water
  • Providing more frequent rest breaks
  • Relaxing the workplace dress code where appropriate
  • Taking account of those more vulnerable to temperature such as pregnant employees, those on medication etc.

Further guidance on workplace temperatures is available from the HSE at www.hse.gov.uk/temperature

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