It’s Summer And Heat waves- So What Are Your Rights When Working In The Heat?
As the hot summer continues many employees, including domestic and household, some of whentom work outsied, want to know what are their rights in hot weather conditions.
So what are the rules?
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. So what is reasonable? essentially if enough staff say they are too hot, then your employer should accept that that the working environment is not 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, designed to protect you and these include keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, sometimes known as thermal comfort providing clean and fresh air.
Additionally, HSE 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, working with you.