As most of Britain enjoys an unseasonably warm summer, many of us are forced to suffer the torture of heat whilst at work. Whilst there are minimum temperatures stated for employees in place in the workplace there are no maximum limits stated in law, although there is a general reference requiring temperatures to be kept at a comfortable level (thermal comfort). There is also a legal requirement for employers to provide clean and fresh air. There are six basic factors that affect thermal comfort: air temperature; radiant temperature; air velocity; humidity; clothing insulation and metabolic heat. In order to keep cool, the Health and Safety Executive recommend that you should wear light clothing with minimal layers, whilst maintaining dignity and complying with any company policy. The use of fans to create air movement will also help as will using window blinds to deflect heat from the sun. Drinking water is actively encouraged, however, caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee are discouraged as they have a dehydrating effect. Taking regular breaks is important and talking with your employer will be necessary if extended discomfort is experienced. Ensuring that you remain fit and healthy during the heatwave is important both when you are at work and whilst at home enjoying the summer sun. staying hydrated and protecting against the harmful rays from the sun will have both short-term and long-term benefits for you and your family.
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