Set a maximum temperature in a work environment.

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The UK is currently experiencing the hottest weather on record. For those of us that work in an indoor environment this means hours of sitting in a humid, stuffy work place.

I work for a major retailer in the UK. In our store we experience working temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius each day. I spend a lot of my working day helping to move large items of furniture and walking around the shop floor helping customers.I can tell you that it is hard but enjoyable work. However, working at the high temperatures we experience is unbearable, but we have no choice. We don't have windows that we can open for some cool air, all we have is a bottle of water, and fans that just circulate the warm air. We have had colleagues and our customers pass out due to the heat, even though we have fans and plenty of water to keep us hydrated. The hotter the temperature the more likely we are to suffer dehydration, exhaustion, light-headedness and even heat stroke. I myself almost passed out at work due to the heat. This needs to change.

I was shocked recently to discover that there is only a MINIMUM working temperature of 13-16 degrees Celsius, and not a maximum. Currently the law states that employers must maintain a reasonable temperature in the work environment. Depending on the company this limit can change. If there was a maximum temperature, it would force employers to ensure that the working environment is kept at a workable temperature.

I urge Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the government to look at introducing a maximum working temperature of 35 degrees Celsius for indoor workers. This would mean that less people like myself who work in an indoor environment, such as a shop, office or other such places, would have to deal with high temperatures for hours on end, with very little reprieve.

I firmly believe that if there is a minimum working temperature, there should also be a maximum temperature. It just makes sense.

 



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