While many of us are enjoying the warm spell, there have been questions about just how hot is too hot to be in work?
Soaking up the sun in parks and at beaches is glorious but there are regulations in place to protect employees.
According to the Health and Safety Authority’s Health and Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 2007 there is no maximum temperature at which staff can refuse to do their duties.
However “it is suggested that for most people an acceptable temperature for office work lies within the range of 18 to 23C,” the document states.
“The temperature in rest areas, rooms for duty staff, sanitary facilities, canteens and first-aid rooms is appropriate to the particular purpose of such areas and in parts of the workplace other than workrooms, such as sanitary or rest facilities, the temperature should be reasonable in all the circumstances including the length of time people are likely to be there.
“Changing rooms and shower rooms should be adequately heated.”
It notes that excessive heat shining into the workplaces should be avoided using means such as blinds or low-emissivity glass.
Staff are also entitled to have some means to ready measure the temperature in their workplace.
The Irish Business Employers Confederation says “Any refusal by the employees to work would then place them in breach of their contracts of employment, which could lead to loss of pay/disciplinary action.”
When it comes to uniform in this weather, IBEC says employers should be careful about relaxing rules.
“Allowing maintenance staff for instance, to discard overalls because of the heat, could result in an increase in the number of accidents, caused by, for example, broken glass or splinters of wood.”