25 May 2017: Too hot to work?

After the recent downpours, the sun is finally shining (yaaay). And hopefully it’s here to stay.

So, here’s some guidance for those (rare) occasions when it might get uncomfortably hot in your workplace…

Whilst there’s no legal maximum temperature, regulation 7 of Workplace Regulations 1992 states that:

‘During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.’

A reasonable working temperature is usually at least 16°C.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary/reasonably practicable.

Here are some things you can ask management to do if you’re feeling too hot to work:

  • provide fans, e.g. desk, pedestal or ceiling-mounted fans
  • ensure that windows can be opened
  • shade employees from direct sunlight with blinds
  • move workstations away from direct sunlight or other situations/objects that radiate heat (e.g. photocopiers, other office machinery)
  • relax the formal dress code – but you must ensure that personal protective equipment is provided and used if required
  • allow sufficient breaks to enable employees to get cold drinks or cool down
  • provide additional facilities, e.g. cold water dispensers
  • introduce formal systems of work to limit exposure, e.g. flexible working patterns, job rotation, workstation rotation etc.
  • provide air-cooling or air-conditioning plant

If you’re finding it too hot to work and management isn’t doing anything to help, contact Accord for further advice on 0118 934 1808 (select option 1).

If you want an Accord temperature gauge card to help you monitor the temperature at work, email tearoa.pataanga@accordhq.org 

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