Working in Hot Temperatures
Jul 30, 2018
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidance provides a minimum legal temperature for indoor workers, 13⁰C for physical work and 16⁰C for other employees, but there is no guidance or regulations in the UK stating a maximum temperature for workplaces.
During hot weather, employers and employees are encouraged to take simple steps in adapting to working in the heat.
Employees can do a number of things to help them adapt to the heat, including:
- Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated;
- Taking regular breaks;
- Wearing appropriate, light, loose fitting clothing;
- Moving to cooler parts of the workplace, if possible.
Additionally, employers have a duty of care for their employees and to ensure they are healthy and productive in the workplace. Consequently, employers need to consider:
- Allowing regular breaks;
- Changing shift times to cooler parts of the day if possible;
- Relaxing formal dress codes or uniform requirements;
- Locating desks away from direct sunlight;
- Keeping blinds and windows closed when the sun is really strong;
- Providing air conditioning and fans to help keep workplaces cool, ensuring they are used correctly.
Implementing these steps is a personal preference as an environment that is too hot for one individual may be just right for another. However, if a working environment is too hot, around 30⁰C or higher, individuals could be at risk of dehydration or heatstroke. If an individual suffers from these, they may experience headaches and won’t be able to concentrate. This loss of cognitive functions can cause safety risks if an individual’s job includes operating machinery.
For employees working outside, it is important that they wear appropriate clothing, use sun screen to protect them from sunburn and drink enough water to keep them hydrated.
If you have any questions regarding what steps you can take to keep employees cool in hot weather, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01392 247436.
Apr 24, 2019 | The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) increased its fee for intervention (FFI) hourly rate from £129 to £154. The new charge came into effect on 6th April 2019.
Feb 07, 2019 | We have summarised the new statutory rates below, which will come into force in April 2019.