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Temperature in the Workplace


Heat-health alerts have been issued this week as temperatures soar across the UK.


Make sure you have the right advice and guidance to work safely in hot weather.


For more information visit the HSE temperature in the workplace website


Is it too hot to work?

There's no law for maximum working temperature, or when it's too hot to work. In offices or similar environments, the temperature in workplaces must be reasonable.

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

Our CANOPY Safety online thermal comfort checklist can help you identify whether there may be a risk of thermal discomfort in your workplace.

Employees should talk to their employer if the workplace temperature isn't comfortable. The HSE have further guidance on what you can do to feel more comfortable

Working safely in hot conditions

It is important to remember the risks of overheating when working in hot conditions, whether you are inside or outdoors.

The HSE website has practical guidance on what you can do to manage the risks, including:

  • Information on factors that can lead to heat stress, and how to reduce the risk of it occurring

  • Managing outdoor working environments

 

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have issued a Level 2 heat-health alert for the South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber regions.


A Level 3 alert has also been issued for the East of England, South East and London regions, which were all placed under a Level 2 alert yesterday (Thursday 7 July).


Both alert levels are currently in place from 9am on Monday 11 July until 9am on Friday 15 July, with warm weather forecast across the country throughout the course of next week.

 

Top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk

  • stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

  • check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest

  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat

  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day

  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

  • take care and make sure to follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down

  • check medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging

 

More information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are available on NHS.UK.


UKHSA’s Beat the heat checklist identifies suitable actions people can take to protect themselves during periods of hot weather.

 

Stay safe, stay positive and please remember that KVF are here to assist you.


Email: info@kvf-consultants.co.uk



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