Anyone who works outdoors may not enjoy the hot weather as much as everyone else who sunbathes.
The best of the summer sun has arrived with temperatures hovering around 30sc.
It comes as Brits are ready to enjoy scorching weather and the hottest week of the year so far.
but when is it too hot to work outside? we explain your rights.
what temperature is too high to work outdoors?
There is no legally defined maximum or minimum temperature for working indoors or outdoors.
But employers are legally required to conduct risk assessments at workplaces to ensure temperatures are “at a comfortable level.”
In 2013, Army Reservists Corporal Roberts, Corporal Maher and Army Dunsby died as a result of heat exhaustion after a training session in the Brecon Beacons.
the hse launched a ministry of defense investigation and found that the risks associated with climatic illnesses during training had not been planned for, assessed and managed.
The exercise should have been called off hours earlier when temperatures hit record highs, they said.
the hse was unable to prosecute the mod because it is a government agency, but the case highlights the employer’s duty of care.
what rights do I have if it’s too hot?
Employers must ensure that their workers have access to water and monitor the health of their employees in hot conditions, according to HSE guidelines.
They should also ensure that the temperature is at a level comfortable to work in, while also providing clean, fresh air.
If you’re concerned it’s too hot to do physical work outside, let your employer know.
the tuc has previously fought to make it illegal to keep people at work indoors if the temperature is above 30°c and put protection in place for people who work outdoors or drive for a living.
They also want to make sure outdoor workers have sunscreen and water and are advised on the need to protect themselves from heat and sun.
what do I do if it’s too hot working outside?
The Health and Safety Executive recommends that employers:
- reschedule work to cooler times of the day
- provide more frequent breaks and introduce shade in break areas
- provide free access to cold drinking water
- introduce shading in areas where people are working
- encourage removal of personal protective equipment when resting to help promote heat loss
- Educate workers on recognizing early symptoms of heat stress
- Be especially careful in the sun if you have: fair or freckled skin that doesn’t tan, or turns red or burns before tanning, red or blonde hair and light eyes, lots of moles.
- Control your sun exposure by wearing high-factor sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, and taking regular breaks in shaded areas.
and says that employees must:
says el tuc: “when it’s too hot in the workplace it’s more than a matter of comfort.
“If the temperature gets too high, it can become a health and safety issue.”
“If people get too hot, they are at risk of dizziness, fainting, or even heat cramps.”
“In very hot conditions, the body’s blood temperature rises.
“if the blood temperature rises above 39c, there is a risk of heat stroke or collapse. above 41c delirium or confusion may occur.”
“Blood temperatures at this level can be fatal, and even if a worker recovers, they may suffer irreparable organ damage.”
The best tips for staying cool include using a fan, but placing a container of ice in front of it to blow cooler air into the room.
Also, eat smaller portions at meals and eat foods like lettuce, celery, and cucumber to help you stay hydrated.
It can be a nice sunny day, but blocking out the sun will help keep the interior cooler, while wearing lightweight cotton along with white and cream colors to help reflect solar radiation.
what if you work in an office? We explain if you can be sent home from work and your rights in the heat.
And how hot does it have to be for schools to close? we have the answer.