August 17, 2016
New Acas guidance issued on keeping UK workplaces cool 0
The Spanish Plume may have been blown off course – but given the fact that any British office becomes uncomfortable when we reach the heady heights of 20 degrees and over, it’s worth taking a look at new guidance on ways of keeping workplaces cool for employees during hot weather. The UK has no legal maximum workplace temperature but the Health and Safety Executive states that temperatures must be at a “reasonable” level, depending on the place of work and type of activity. Workplace experts Acas have launched their latest hot weather guidelines to help employers keep workplace temperatures down so staff can continue to work safely and productively. Its guidance also covers thorny areas such as suitable dress codes during warm weather – as the guide says; ’employers may choose to adopt a more casual or flexible approach to dress during hot weather days but this may depend on the type of the business’. There are three top tips from Acas.
- Employers should always provide staff with access to drinking water. Employees should be responsible and drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
- Businesses should pay special attention to vulnerable workers. The elderly and pregnant women are particularly at risk of suffering in the heat.
- Where possible staff can use air conditioning, blinds, protective clothing and sunscreen during hot weather to reduce temperatures at the workplace.
Acas Head of Guidance, Stewart Gee, said: “Beaches may be packed with happy families when its sunny outside, but it is no fun for employees if workplaces are unbearably hot and stuffy.
“Employers should see what they can do to ensure their staff don’t over heat at work. The elderly and pregnant women are especially at risk when temperatures soar.
“Our latest guidance on hot temperatures at work is a must-read for employers who want productive businesses throughout the summer. It offers simple but effective advice to keep temperatures in the workplace at a reasonable level and their staff fit for work.”
Acas’ new workplace temperatures guidance is available here and a further hot weather guidance is available here.