So what can you do? Here is a quick whistle stop tour of the legislation so you can get a understanding of the HR implications of this lovely weather.
1. What legislation applies?
The main legislation that applies in these circumstances is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. This is a predominantly health and safety basis regulation and you should seek specialist advice if you work in situations where the temperature may cause issues or concerns for your employees (such as a Steel Works will be extremely hot and have its own specific risk assessment for these circumstances).
2. What is the minimum working temperature?
The regulations state that this is 160C and 130C if completing physical work.
3. What is the maximum working temperature?
There isn’t one. Thats right none! This is something that is cropping up a lot in what I term #pubadvice because of the news headlines around the TUC advocating for a maximum temperature to be put in place many people think it exists it does not. However, you have a obligation to assist to maintain “reasonable” working conditions for the temperature.
4. Why is it a health, safety and welfare issue?
When a persons body temperature rises above 390C they are at risk of stroke or collapse. When their core temperature gets above 410C it can be fatal or cause irreparable damage to internal organs. So as an employer / manager you have an obligation to ensure that your employees are safe at work and free from harm. Low temperatures can also cause issues around safety as these commonly cause loss of concentration, increased tiredness and obviously these are precursors to accidents in the workplace.
5. Did you know it affects employees productivity too?
The ideal working temperatures are said to between 160C and 240C anything outside these temperatures can be a massive distraction for employees. Ultimately this will impact on their productivity and in turn the business. So if you can do anything to alleviate the impact of temperature variances then take action, read our blog post on office dress code as a first stop.
If you aren’t certain what you can do or if your workplace needs a specific assessment with regards to safe working temperatures call us on 01904 207 155 or email email@example.com If we aren’t able to help then we can speak with our Health and Safety advisers who will be able to give detailed advice.