Safe working temperature
There is a yellow alert all around the UK in the last few days. Most of us couldn’t enjoy a “White Christmas”, but finally the snow is here. Businesses and the public are advised to drive only if extremely necessary, some airports are canceling flights or closing and lots of schools are also announcing temporary closures due to the bad weather.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, using a little bit of common sense and complying with the safety regulations should be enough regarding safe working temperature. Here are some basic and simple safety recommendations which employers and employees should bear in mind.
One of the basic requirements for a person to do a job safely is “thermal comfort”. The term is used to describe the state of mind that a person is in while completing a task. The temperature in the workplace (either in or outdoors) has to be right so employees and public feel comfortable and without a risk for their health.
If the working environment is uncomfortable people tend to act unsafely in order to avoid feeling cold (or too hot) for example: taking inappropriate shortcuts to get in and out (think about possible trips and slips hazards), the general concentration on the task would be highly reduced, rushing to finish a job could result in falls from heights, electrocution etc.
safe working temperature
Almost certainly during severe weather conditions if working outdoors the management needs to re-evaluate the risks of the performed activity. Re-writing and re-thinking your risk assessments, even those of the usual and day-by-day tasks would be important and if the risks are not tolerable should cease work completely until weather changes or until appropriate safety measures are taken.
One of our health and safety consultants in derby advises the following
- additional PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) considering not only the temperature of the air, but also the velocity and level of humidity
- outdoor heaters, partial coverings and hording.
- sand and salt treatment of the site in order to prevent falling and slips
- provide mobile facilities for worming up, encourage the drinking of hot and worm drinks
- reduction of working hours - this way avoiding working very early in the dark winter mornings and late nights when temperatures are extreme
- introduce additional controls and supervision in order to detect possible symptoms of cold stress in workers
- if working indoors, avoid overheating the environment which can reduce the quality and humidity of the air leading to fatigue and headaches
- try to avoid where possible the continuous movement of people in and out of the building
And if you are lucky enough to have an unexpected holiday due to the weather conditions and you are able to get into a ski-resort enjoy as much as you can safely. Snuggle in front of the fire at night and sip on glass of something warm.
Enjoy the snow and stay safe.
safe working temperature.