Summer is fast approaching and business owners are soon likely to be facing employee concerns about workplace temperatures. It can be extremely uncomfortable to work in scorching hot temperatures and huge window expanses in offices can make this even worse. One solution to counter workplace stress caused by high summer temperatures can be fitting air source heat pumps, which provide air conditioning in summer months and heating through the cold winter months.
Legal issues surrounding high temperatures at work
There isn’t currently any legal maximum temperature for workplace environments, although the TUC would like to see this set at 30°C. Some companies have rules in place whereby employees can leave the office if the temperature becomes too uncomfortable to work, however, all workers should speak with a member of the management team prior to leaving the office due to high levels of heat.
Where temperatures at work do become too high they can turn into health and safety hazards, as workers encounter dizzy spells, heat cramps or fainting. It’s also possible to develop heat stroke or collapse if the temperatures of the blood rise to a level of 39°C or more and this can lead to irreparable damage to organs.
As an employer, you are responsible for keeping workplace temperatures at comfortable levels and providing clean, fresh air. Where significant numbers of staff are complaining about levels of heat then it’s advisable to carry out a risk assessment. Some members of staff can be more vulnerable to the effects of high temperatures, including pregnant women or menopausal women, also where staff need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) temperatures can seem even higher.
Some of the existing solutions to high workplace temperatures include:
• providing fans or portable air conditioners in the workplace
• ensuring a consistent supply of water and cool drinks
• allowing employees to adopt flexible working with an earlier start so they can leave when afternoon heat builds up
• adopting a less formal dress code
Installing an air source heat pump system in your premises provides all the comfort of air conditioning in hot summer months and heating in winter. You could discover that your electricity bills are reduced significantly, too, particularly if you use electric heaters at present.
I-HT supply, fit and service air source heat pumps throughout East Anglia and South East England. You can buy or lease air source heat pumps from us, so they can prove an extremely affordable option for heating and cooling your business. Contact us for more information.