With the temperature set to soar in many parts of the West of England, Metro Mayor Dan Norris is once again calling on employers to make sure staff are protected from the sun and heat.
Friday especially is set to be a scorcher and expected to be the hottest day of the year so far, eclipsing the 27.5C set in mid-May, as parts of the West of England are set to swelter. A heat-health alert has been issued by the Met Office as temperatures of up to 34C are forecast to hit some areas of the UK.
The Metro Mayor reissued calls for local companies to set a maximum workplace temperature of 30C and put measures in place for workers who are at home, without access to things like air conditioning.
When temperatures plunge, workers have a right to go home as the mercury drops below 16C, but there is not currently a law when the weather hots up setting a maximum temperature limit.
Working in hot weather can lead to dehydration, tiredness, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness.
The Metro Mayor said the climate crisis meant extreme weather would become the norm, necessitating a change in the law. He said: “We all love the summer sun. But working in scorching conditions without proper protections in place can be really dangerous for workers. If people get hot, they may suffer dizziness, fainting or even heat cramps, and in very hot conditions, this can prove fatal. We need workplaces to be kept cool and proper protections for the people choosing to work from home. That is as much to protect West of England employers as their employees”.
Plans to include measures to encourage maximum temperatures at work will be included in the West of England’s first-ever Good Employment Charter due to be launched by the Metro Mayor this summer.