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How to handle hot weather at work?

KLG KLG
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Calendar July 18, 2022

This is our top tips to help employers manage workplace challenges due to the hot weather.
The Met Office has predicted that the hot weather looks set to continue with temperatures of up to 35℃ expected this week.

Reasonable workplace temperatures 

The breakout of the coronavirus pandemic has caused a major disruption in the way businesses operate. Surviving these times may require restructuring or downsizing, and consequently making redundancies. As an employer you would need to ensure the rights steps are followed. This is to minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims.
We have highlighted below the key aspects to consider when making someone redundant:

1. What to do before commencing redundancy process?
Health and Safety Executive have advised that the temperature in workplaces for inside buildings must be reasonable. They also provide a breakdown of how to carry out a thermal risk assessment if staff members are unhappy with the temperature or you would like to a step ahead. It further explains the concept of thermal comfort, and contains specific advice on heat stress, dehydration and cold stress when working at very high or low temperatures.

Health and Safety Executive Guidance

Keeping cool 

If you have fans and air cons available, switch them on to keep the workplaces comfortable. Staff that work outside, ensure they are wearing appropriate clothing and to use sunscreen to protect from sunburn. Sunglasses will also be beneficial to protect them their eyes from the sun and reduces the risk of headaches.

Hydration

Employers should provide all staff with suitable drinking water in the workplace. They should also promote the importance of drinking water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and not wait until they’re thirsty.

Dress code

If possible, employers should consider relaxing their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather for example wearing ties or suits. This not a requirement for employer but work considering.

Transport

Public transport is affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance and their ability to get into work on time. Employers should ask employees to look at transport timetables as earlier and frequently as possible.

Vulnerable workers

Some workers may be more affected by the hot weather, such as older people, pregnant women or people on medication. Employers should speak to them as ask them whether they can do anything further to help. This may include giving more breaks and making sure there’s enough ventilation by providing fans or portable air-cooling units.

  1. Recommendations for staff working from home
    Many workers will be working from home or hybrid working.
    Here are a few measures you can suggest to employees you could take according to Health and Safety Executive:
    1. Add or remove layers of clothing depending on how hot or cold you are and wearing clothes that are of light material such as cotton.
    2. Ask staff to take regular breaks away from their desk.
    3. Use a desk fan to increase movement in the room.
    4. The use of window blinds if available to cut down on heating effects of the sun.
    5. To drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
    6. Work away from direct sunlight.
    7. Providing vitamin water to staff that work from home to ensure they are hydrated.
    8. If an office is available and is cooler, ask staff to work from the office.

 

For legal advice or assistance contact KLG Law today. Either head to our contact us page to make an enquiry or give us a call on 0330 221 0684

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