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Workplace temperatures must be capped at 30°C, TUC says

AS BRITAIN wilted in the heat today,  the TUC said that working temperatures must be capped by the next government.

It is calling for a change in the law so that employers must attempt to reduce temperatures if they get above 24°C and workers feel uncomfortable. 

The union body would also like ministers to introduce a new absolute maximum indoor temperature, set at 30°C — or 27°C for those doing strenuous jobs such as warehouse packing — to indicate when work must stop.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Most of us will be very happy to see the sun after such a cold and wet start to the year. 

“But working in sweltering conditions can be unbearable and dangerous, so spare a thought for those in overheated shops, baking offices or toiling outdoors in direct sun.  

“Indoor workplaces need to be kept cool, with relaxed dress codes and flexible working to make use of the coolest hours of the day. 

“And employers must make sure outdoor workers are protected with regular breaks, lots of fluids, plenty of sunscreen and the right protective clothing. 

“Our buildings, infrastructure and laws were made for a different climate in a different century. 

“Extreme heat is becoming the norm and we’re struggling to cope. We need to adapt, and that means improving the law, investing in resilience and delivering climate action.”

The TUC noted that Labour’s so-called New Deal for Working People includes a commitment to “modernising health and safety guidance with reference to extreme temperatures, preventative action and steps to ensure safety at work.”

The Health & Safety Executive said that current law requires employers to keep the temperature at a “comfortable level” and provide “clean and fresh air.”


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