Working in the heat

It’s not the easiest working in heat and we’re not really geared up for it. Apparently when you go abroad it takes two weeks for our bodies to adjust, hence our struggle with a week of heatwave.

When the heat comes, I’m often asked is there a maximum temperature people can work in?

The simple answer is no. Employers are required to ensure workplace temperatures are reasonable, the HSE guidance suggests this could be up to 30 degrees. However, reasonableness does depend on the type of work being carried out.

Where temperatures cannot be kept lower, ensure everyone has access to plenty of water and consider whether extra breaks are required. Heat can have a significant impact on our bodies and therefore performance at work, water and rest can help to reduce this.

You may also want to consider relaxing your dress code, maybe having a summer dress code or summer uniform. Particularly if uniforms are designed for cooler weather with dark, heavy or non-breathable fabrics. This maybe particularly important for those who are impacted more by heat such as those who are pregnant or with menopause symptoms. Lightweight, breathable clothing can really help even in lower summer temperatures.

Never forget, little things go a long way – like buying your team an ice cream 🍦
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

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