MPs call for workers to be sent home when temperatures reach 30C

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heatA group of MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion calling for workers to be sent home if the workplace temperature reaches 30C.

The Motion argues that working in high heats can lead to a reduction in cognitive function, attention span and visual motor tracking, which it says can lead to higher rates of accidents.

Tabled by Labour MP, Linda Riordan, the Motion also calls for those undertaking strenuous work to be sent home when their workplace temperature reaches 27C, which it says may help prevent potentially fatal accidents.

The Motion states:

“Employees in a wide range of workplaces – from industrial bakeries to school classrooms – are often subjected to high temperatures which can impact seriously on their health and well-being, with effects ranging from discomfort, stress, irritability and headaches, to extra strain on the heart and lungs, dizziness and fainting and heat cramps due to loss of water and salt.”

The MPs have also highlighted that although minimum legal temperatures for indoor workplaces exist, there are currently no regulations on maximum temperatures.

Places of work have to be kept at a “reasonable temperature” according to current guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with the recommended minimum 16C or 13C if much of the work is physical.

Recently, the TUC has also been campaigning for a maximum workplace temperature and it remains to be seen whether the Motion, signed by seven other MPs, will become law.

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