With the UK’s first ever extreme heat warning employers are under increased pressure to ensure the safety of their workers.
By working in high temperatures, employers may notice staff have a lack of concentration, there is an increased risk of accident, reduced productivity and an increase in “sunbathing sickies”.
Although there is no maximum working temperature set by the Health and Safety Executive, to minimise the negative side effects employers can take a number of precautions.
For employees working predominately indoors, employers could consider the following:
- Access to cool water.
- Adequate ventilation.
- An increased number of rest breaks.
- A relaxation of formal dress codes.
- Boost morale by providing low cost treats, such as ice creams.
For employees working outdoors, employers should also consider the direct exposure to sunlight. Precautions can be taken including:
- Modification of the working routine to avoid heavy physical work being undertaken during the most intense hours of sunlight.
- Allowing an increased number of breaks in the shade.
- Workers should be encouraged to prevent exposure to the sun by wearing long sleeves and trousers and/or loose clothing.
- Wearing hats with wide brims or flaps to protect exposure to the neck and ears.
- Encouraging workers to use suncream of a high factor.
Ultimately, by keeping staff cool, motivated and engaged, employers can capitalise on the feel good factor and reduce the impact on absence and productivity.
For further information please contact Hannah Belton, Director, on 01267 493130 or [email protected].