UK weather: When is it too hot to work as Met Office predicts ‘soft’ heatwave’
The Met Office shows we’re in for a few days of warm weather but when is it too hot to work?
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As the UK prepares for a ‘soft heatwave’ next week, that could mean getting the paddling pool out, putting the barbecue on and basking in the sun. But if you’re due to head into work your summer days might look slightly different.
The Met Office predicts temperatures could reach up to 18 degrees in some parts of the country. And although the sharp spike in temperature will be welcome news for many, if you’re due to head to work you might have some concerns.
Jim Dale, a senior meteorologist at British Weather Services, told the Daily Express there’s a real possibility of temperatures hitting mid-20s from April 15. He said: "We do get heatwaves in April, it does happen.
“It’ll be a soft heatwave for the second half of April, it could get somewhere in the mid-20s pushing to May, in that general direction. I can’t be overly detailed at the moment, but the signs are there for this kind of change - it’s when you see the charts going in that direction."
But, if you need to put on a suit, sit in a stuffy office or get on busy trains, the warm spell might be less appealing. However, there are rules in place to ensure workers are looked after in the heat.
When is it too hot to go into the office
By law, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require employers to provide a reasonable indoor temperature in the workplace. However, the preferred temperature depends on the work activity and the environmental conditions.
The Health and Safety Executive website says there is no maximum temperature for workplaces. However, all workers are entitled to an environment where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Heat is classed as a hazard and comes with legal obligations like any other hazard.
How to stay cool in the office
The HSE website has issued advice on how to stay cool in the office on warm days.
- Wear clothing in layers that they can add or remove.
- Use a desk or pedestal fan to increase air movement
- Use window blinds to reduce the heating effects of the sun
- If you are too warm drink plenty of water (avoid caffeinated or carbonated drinks)
- If possible, work away from direct sunlight or sources of heat, such as machinery
- Take regular breaks to cool down in hot conditions or heat up in cold ones