Mayor Dan Norris has warned West of England bosses to step up to protect their workers during hot weather this summer.

The Mayor’s warning was issued in response to soaring temperatures this weekend, including a 32°C in parts of the country, and forecasts from meteorologists suggesting even hotter weather may be on the cards during the summer months ahead.

While temperatures around 30C have been recorded in June in the past, it is early in the month for it to be so hot, while meteorologists forecast the chance of Britain experiencing a hot summer is now 45% – 2.3 times the normal figure.

The warning leaves the nation braced for a possible repeat of last year’s record-breaking heatwave which saw temperatures break the 40C record in the UK for the first time, and prompting a 1000% rise in workers seeking hot weather advice from the Health and Safety Executive.

That’s why this year, Mayor Norris wants employers to take preemptive action to protect workers from the scorching heat. Although there’s no legal maximum temperature for workplaces, Mr Norris says heat is a hazard and should be treated as such by West of England employers.

He pointed out that working in extreme heat can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness. Outdoor workers are three times more likely to develop skin cancer, Norris added.

The Metro Mayor is this week calling on employers to do things like allow flexible working with different start and finish times and keep workplaces cool on days with particularly scorching temperatures. He also wants all employers to have an open discussion with their workers on hot days to manage risks better.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Last summer should have been a wakeup call for all of us, not least ministers – once again it is unusually hot because of the climate crisis we all face, and that spells trouble for West of England workers. The truth is the extreme weather we saw will only get more frequent over time, not less. That’s why we need clear public health messaging for employers and employees right now. Sadly the Government is failing to show leadership here, but we as regional leaders are stepping up.”

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