Workers need protection in soaring temperatures, GMB Union has warned.
With temperatures today [18 July] and tomorrow set to hit a record breaking 40 degrees Celsius, employers need to make adjustments.
GMB is calling for a legal maximum temperature for work to be set at 25C
Currently there is a legal minimum, but no legal maximum, the union adds. [spokesperson available for interview, see below]
Workplace adjustments should also include:
- Flexible working and travel arrangements
- Extra breaks
- Water access
- Cooling systems/air conditioning
- Flexible dress codes
- Provision of protective clothing
Lynsey Mann, GMB Health and Safety officer, said:
“This hot weather is great for being on a sun lounger – but if you’re trying to work through it’s no joke.
“Bosses need to do everything possible to keep workplaces cool, and more importantly, safe.
“This can be as simple as letting people wear more casual clothing and providing proper hydration.
“High levels of UV exposure also mean that outdoor workers have a much higher risk of developing skin cancer.
“Simply allowing more breaks and providing sun cream and protective clothing, such as hats with neck covers, can help reduce this risk.
“Ultimately there needs to be a legal maximum working temperature, in the same way we have a legal minimum working temperature.
“And it is in employer’s interests – workers who are overheating aren’t going to be at their best.”