27 Jul It’s Summer And Heatwave – What You Need To Know As An Employer
We have had a summer with heat-waves, and the hot weather may well stay with us for a while. So, what are the rules on staff working in hot weather conditions?
Well, essentially, there are no hard and fast rules, more a “reasonable” approach.
The Health and Safety Executive explain that the temperature in workplaces must be reasonable.
There’s no law for maximum working temperature, or when it’s too hot to work. However, Employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including:
- keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, sometimes known as thermal comfort
- providing clean and fresh air.
Additionally, HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommend:
Keeping cool at work – switch on any fans or air conditioners to keep workplaces comfortable and use blinds or curtains to block out sunlight. Staff working outside should wear appropriate clothes and use sunscreen to protect from sunburn.
Stay hydrated – employers must provide staff with suitable drinking water in the workplace. Workers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and not wait until they are thirsty.
Dress code – employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather but where possible it may be advisable to for employers to relax the rules for wearing ties or suits.
Getting into work – if public transport gets adversely affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance and their ability to get into work on time. Staff should check timetables in advance.
Vulnerable workers – some workers may be more adversely affected by the hot weather such as the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks and ensure ventilation is adequate by providing fans or portable air cooling units.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.