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Too Hot to Handle?
The thought of it being too hot to work in the UK would seem ridiculous in any other summer, but this one is breaking records and people keep talking about the summer of 1976 and potential drought so we need to sit up and take note. The relentless heat will have put a strain on employees, particularly those undertaking manual labour. Even those working in office poorly ventilated offices, will have found temperatures have crept up and those without air conditioning have suffered. so what can you do to maintain productivity?

Currently there is no legal temperature at which it considered too hot to work in the UK.  But employers have a legal obligation to their staff to create and maintain a comfortable working environment – this includes providing a reasonable temperature for employees to work in. 

If an employee raises concerns or makes a complaint to their employer, it is vital the employer assesses the risks to health and safety and takes responsible action through control and prevention measures, when necessary.

Relaxing office dress codes and supplying fans and other cooling measures to mitigate the high temperatures are ways employers can provide reasonable conditions for workers to carry out their roles as well as providing plenty of drinking water.   I remember many years ago in one job I had when we had a mini-heat wave, I was told that as Facilities Manager it was my job to buy everyone an ice cream on behalf of the company.  There were about 200 people on site, so I arranged for an ice cream van to turn up and provide the lollies.  That stopped people moaning about the temperature for the rest of the afternoon! So think about the situation they are working in and see if there are ways you can make it more bearable.
Posted on 26 Jul 2018

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