Hot weather could bring complaints from over-heated staff

The
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) said it is preparing for
a ‘deluge’ of complaints this summer from members due to over-heating offices.

Employers
have a duty, under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992,
to maintain a ‘reasonable temperature’ in the workplace.

Although
it doesn’t specify temperatures, the Code of Practice says 16ºC, or 13ºC for
strenuous physical work, should be the minimum. It offers no maximum, but Usdaw
is now pushing the Government for a statutory peak workplace temperature of
27ºC.

The
union said that research showed that at temperatures above about 25°C heat
exhaustion starts, with people suffering loss of concentration, increased
accidents and loss of productivity.

Usdaw
has created leaflet, ‘Keep your cool! Tackling heat stress at work’, offering
tips for overcoming temperature worries in the office.

For
further information, see www.usdaw.org.uk

By Michael Millar

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