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Heatwave Hot Tips

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2018 at 9:00 am

The good weather helps put a smile on people’s faces, but it can also raise a number of workplace issues.

Here are some tips to help you:

• You may hear from employees, “it’s too hot to work, you have to send us home.” However, the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 state a reasonable temperature must be maintained at work. There is no mention of a maximum! In very hot weather you need to carry out a risk assessment. This should look at the environment, type of work being carried out and the impact on any staff with particular needs, such as a pregnant employee. You should then address any issues. For example, could outside workers start earlier or later to avoid the midday sun?

• Faced with employees arguing that wearing a low-cut dress or shorts and flip flops will keep them cool when it’s ‘too hot’? Perhaps it’s time to relax the dress code a little, but standards of decency must be maintained. So, no very short skirts or shorts. Casual, smart, loose-fitting clothing, and a temporary relaxing of suits and ties so that the company image is maintained may be more appropriate. If staff work outside, watch out for them failing to wear protective clothing to keep cool. High-factor sun cream for those working outdoors would also be a sensible approach.

• Use fans and try keeping blinds closed. Have plenty of cold water available so staff remain hydrated.

• The warm weather can increase the risk of sickness. However, don’t jump to conclusions regarding an employee’s sickness absence on a hot sunny day as they may have sunstroke or hayfever. We always recommend that you should carry out a return-to-work interview.

Although some employees may believe a bit of sun relaxes the workplace rules, you need to manage consistently and fairly.

 

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