Heatwave: Safe Working Temperatures

Do employers needs to send staff home if the working environment becomes too hot?

Temperatures of up to 30°C are forecast across Northern Ireland, which means that workplaces will feel much warmer than usual.  Employers have a legal duty to ensure that working environments are a ‘reasonable temperature’. The law does not state specific temperatures that are considered reasonable.

Employers must also ensure that staff have access drinking water. In hot weather, employees may need to drink more water than usual – you should encourage this. You must also ensure the working environment has adequate ventilation.

See what workplace facilities do you need to provide?

Keeping cool
Employers could consider the following measures to help their staff stay comfortable in the hot weather:

  • supply cold drinks
  • relax dress codes so employees can wear cooler clothing
  • provide air conditioning or fans
  • allow employees to work in the shade
  • reschedule strenuous work

Employees who work outside
If your staff work outside they may be at particular risk of certain hazards. Consider shade, rest break and sun safety. Wearing a hat, suitable clothing and sunscreen can help protect the skin from UV damage. See health and safety risks for people working outdoors.

Source: nibusinessinfo.co.uk